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19th Einstein Lecture: Prof. Dr. Catherine Heymans

Seeing the Invisible - The Dark Side of the Universe

Oct 29, 2019

Catherine Heymans

Catherine Heymans
Image Credit: BBVA Foundation

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 fuelling the Universe's accelerated expansion, making it ever harder for those structures to grow.

Catherine Heymans has used the world's best telescopes to map out the invisible dark matter in our Universe and confront different theories on the dark Universe. During her lecture, she explored this dark enigma and explained why she thinks in order to truly understand the dark Universe, we will need some new physics that will forever change our cosmic view.

Catherine Heymans is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh, Director of the German Centre for Cosmological Lensing at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and a European Research Council Fellow. She specialises 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 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.

She holds the 2017 Darwin Lectureship form the Royal Astronomical Society and is the first winner of the Max Planck-Humboldt Research Award (2018).