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Weighing the Universe – Neta Bahcall

Date: Thu. October 15th, 2009, 4:15 pm-5:15 pm
Location: Rockefeller 301

How do we weigh the Universe? Where is the Dark Matter? I will discuss these questions and show that several independent methods, including the observed abundance of rich clusters , the baryon-fraction in clusters, the observed Mass-to-Light function from galaxies to superclusters, and other large-scale structure observations, all reveal a universe with a low mass density of ~20% of the critical density. The data suggest that the mass in the Universe, including the dark-matter, follows light on large scales, and most of the mass resides in huge dark halos around galaxies. I will review the combined observational evidence for dark-matter and for dark-energy in the universe and their cosmological implications.

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