Director's Colloquium

Type Ia Supernovae, The Accelerating Cosmos, and Dark Energy

Brian Schmidt

Professor Brain Schmidt
Nobel laureate
Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Type Ia supernovae remain one of Astronomy's most precise tools for
measuring distances in the Universe. I will describe the cosmological
application of these stellar explosions, and chronicle how they were used to
discover an accelerating Universe in 1998 - an observation which is most
simply explained if more than 70 percent of the Universe is made up of some
previously undetected form of 'Dark Energy'. Over the intervening 13 years,
a variety of experiments have been completed, and even more proposed to
better constrain the source of the acceleration. I will review the range of
experiments, describing the current state of our understanding of the
observed acceleration, and speculate about future progress in understanding
Dark Energy.

Please join us for lunch after the colloquium in the RSPE tearoom.  Please email your RSVP to for catering purposes

Event recording

Date & time

Thu 6 Dec 2012, 12–1pm


Leonard Huxley Theatre


Staff, students and public welcome