ZOOM SEMINAR: The Big Picture: From Cosmic Origins to Life on Exoplanets

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Via Zoom
  • Lecturer: Martin Sahlén, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS. Associate Professor of Astronomy, Uppsala University
  • Website
  • Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Contact person: Klas Holm
  • Seminarium

Martin Sahlén, SCAS and Uppsala University, gives a seminar on The Big Picture: From Cosmic Origins to Life on Exoplanets. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

Abstract: Since the early 20th century, astronomical observations and physical models have revolutionised our understanding of the cosmos. A unified physical description of the first moments and subsequent evolution of the Universe at different length scales has been established, alongside a description of its basic constituents. A key feature is that the Universe is not static but evolves in time, and goes through several distinct cosmic epochs. The initial matter distribution is acted upon by the fundamental laws of physics, which gradually leads to the formation of yet larger and more complex structures as the Universe cools and expands. Arguably, the most complex of known structures is life - in particular intelligent life. While our best models of the Universe do allow for complex life to form, it also seems that if the laws of physics were only slightly different, then complex life could not exist. Furthermore, the local environmental conditions of a solar system within a galaxy, and of a planet within a solar system, need to be fairly special to allow for life as we know it to exist over long periods of time. Here, I will describe some of the key ingredients in our recipe for forming a Universe like ours, and how different mixtures of the ingredients are related to the prospects for life to exist and persist on exoplanets - and ultimately, to how common life may be at different cosmic locations and epochs.

For more information and the Zoom link, please see the enclosed PDF file or http://www.swedishcollegium.se/subfolders/Events.html

Additional information