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Physics and Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium

3:30 PM, Friday, January 15, 2010
Room 155, Chem-Phys Building

Dr. Josh Frieman
Theoretical Astrophysics Group

Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
University of Chicago

"Probing Dark Energy: Results from the SDSS-II Supernova Survey''

A decade ago, two teams studying distant Type Ia supernovae discovered that the expansion of the Universe is speeding up. Since then, supernova surveys from the ground and from space have brought major improvements in the quality and quantity of SN Ia data, confirming the discovery of cosmic acceleration. This talk will focus on the first cosmological results from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-II Supernova Survey, which operated for 9 months in 2005-7, discovering and measuring light curves and spectra for over 500 SNe Ia. I will also discuss the observational challenges to determining supernova distances for cosmology and how those challenges are being addressed. These results inform the prospects for using supernovae to obtain improved cosmology measurements from planned and proposed surveys in the future.

Refreshments will be served in CP 179 at 3:15 PM