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The Dark Side of the Universe

Professor of Astrophysics Catherine Heymans to Hold Einstein Lecture Dahlem on October 29 at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 279/2019 from Sep 26, 2019

The famous astrophysicist Professor Catherine Heymans from the University of Edinburgh will hold the 19th Einstein Lecture Dahlem on October 29 at Freie Universität Berlin. Her talk, “Seeing the Invisible – The Dark Side of the Universe,” examines dark matter, that is, matter that cannot be seen as dust, gas, or stars. Professor Günter M. Ziegler, the president of Freie Universität, will open the lecture with an official greeting, followed by an introduction by Professor Hermann Nikolai, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics. The event is co-organized by Freie Universität in cooperation with the Max Planck Society and will take place in the Henry Ford Building, Garystraße 35. The lecture is free and open to the public, but please register in advance (by October 23).

Just over 95% of our universe comes in the shrouded form of dark energy and matter that we can neither explain nor directly detect. Together, these two dark entities play out an epic cosmic battle with the gravity of dark matter slowly pulling structures in the universe together, and dark energy fueling the universe’s accelerated expansion, making it ever harder for those structures to grow.

Catherine Heymans is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh, director of the German Center for Cosmological Lensing at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and a European Research Council fellow. She specializes in observing the dark side of our universe and co-leads the European Southern Observatory’s Kilo-Degree Survey, using deep sky observations to test whether we need to go beyond Einstein with our current theory of gravity. Catherine Heymans is passionate about making science accessible for everyone. Her online course “AstroTech” has attracted over 40,000 students worldwide, and she is a regular contributor to radio shows, art, music, and science festivals.

The Einstein Lectures Dahlem, hosted by Freie Universität Berlin since 2005 in partnership with several external institutions, are dedicated to the epochal work of Albert Einstein. Einstein was the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics for almost two decades. Since 2017, this first-rate-interdisciplinary colloquium is hosted in cooperation with the Max Planck Society, the successor of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. The lectures are held in Dahlem, a district in Berlin with a tradition of being a center of scientific research. They address a broad academic audience and cover various scientific disciplines influenced by Einstein’s thinking.

Further Information

Time, Location, and Advance Registration


Division of International Affairs, Freie Universität Berlin, Email: einstein-lecture@fu-berlin.de