Date(s) - 23/04/2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Studio Villa Bosch
Measuring the expansion rate of the Universe: Is ‘Hubble’s constant’ constant?
By Wolfgang Hillebrandt, Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics, Garching
Although systematic uncertainties may limit the accuracy of thermonuclear (Type Ia) supernovae as distance indicators for cosmology, they are at present the best tools to determine relative distances in the Universe. However, an extremely important question is: Can we determine accurate absolute distances also, reflected in the uncertainty of today’s expansion rate of the Universe, the Hubble constant H0. In fact, the present 5% discrepancy in H0 determinations between the cosmic microwave background and Type Ia supernovae either points at additional cosmological components or errors in the measurements, and this uncertainty on H0 is a severe limitation on an accurate determination of most other cosmological parameters. In this talk we will discuss several promising ways to obtain high-precision measurements of H0 in the near future.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hillebrandt is retired director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) in Garching and Honorary Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Technical University of Munich since 1990. He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Cologne in 1973, from where he moved to the Technical University in Darmstadt. In 1977 after his habilitation, he accepted an offer from the MPA and moved to Munich in 1978. In 1985 he became a Scientific Member of the MPA, and in 1997 a member of its Board of Directors. Honorary positions include the Chairmanship of the Astronomische Gesellschaft (1990-1993). His research is focused on various fields of theoretical astrophysics, such as nuclear and particle astrophysics, stellar structure and evolution, and, in particular, the final stages of stellar evolution. His research tools are mainly numerical simulations performed on supercomputers.
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