"Cosmology from Einstein to Now"

 

Professor Wolfgang Rindler

Director, Center for Theoretical Interdisciplinary Physics

Department of Physics, University of Texas at Dallas

 

 

Abstract

 

 

Modern cosmology can be said to have begun in 1917.  That is when Einstein  published his now famous "Einstein Kosmos", but also when the first of the  modern giant telescopes, the 100-in telescope on Mount Wilson, opened an  entirely new window on the universe.  Only when theory and observation come  together can a true science flourish.  The next great step forward camewith  Alexander Friedman's 1922 theoretical recognition of the motion of the  universe under its own gravity as a giant dynamical system, and Hubble's  observational confirmation of this motion in 1929.  The theory of the big  bang went a long way to explain the wealth of new cosmic discoveries made in  the following decades.  But the pace of progress quickened in the last 25 years, which saw the rise of inflationary theory, the rediscovery of  Einstein's lambda term, cosmic acceleration, cosmic foam, dark matter and  dark energy, the Hubble space telescope and the new 10-m Keck telescopes.

Answers to long-standing questions are beginning to emerge:  the universe  now seems essentially flat and infinite,  13.7 billion years old, and  destined to expand for ever.  And there are hints of other universes.

 

 

 

Professor Wolfgang Rindler Bio

 

Wolfgang Rindler was born in Vienna.  He was educated in England during World War II, obtaining his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Liverpool University (under A.G.Walker) and his Ph.D. from Imperial College, London (under G.J.Whitrow).  He taught at Liverpool, London, and Cornell Universities, before joining the faculty at the then newly created Southwest Center for Advanced Studies in 1963, which eventually became the University of Texas at Dallas. There he has been ever since, except for visiting professorships at the Universities of Rome and Vienna, and visiting fellowships at the University of Cambridge and the Max Planck Institutes at Munich and Potsdam.  His field of study is Relativity and Cosmology, and he is the author or co-author of seven books (with translations into Russian, Japanese, Italian and Greek) and over 60 papers.