Speaker: Dr Gary Mathlin - Department of Physics, University of Bath
It is thought likely that there have been creation myths for as long as there have been people. It seems to be a natural and compelling human urge to ask, and seek answers to, questions such as ‘where did the world come from?’ and ‘did it always exist or was it brought into being at some point in the past?’
Until little over a century ago these questions were firmly in the domain of philosophy and theology – science had nothing to say on the subject. But massive steps forward in the technology and design of telescopes, along with the brilliant insights of people such as Einstein, Gammov and Friedmann have changed everything.
Today cosmology is a branch of physics – today’s cosmological theories are firmly rooted in observational evidence. Within the brief two decades or so that I have been involved in this area, cosmology now claims to having explained the structure and evolution of the universe – all that remains is for a few fine details to be filled in…or is there more to it? Is modern cosmology just another creation myth?
In this talk I will very briefly explain the current ‘standard model’ of cosmology, the so called ‘hot big bang’ model and describe the observational evidence upon which it stands. I will then go on to talk about some recent and puzzling observations that don’t fit with the model, some of these suggest that the model is in need of some adjustment, some suggest the model may need to be torn up and started over.