A Symposium on the Nature of Science


Rocky Kolb
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Thirteen billion years ago our universe started with a bang. Today we are gathering the fossil evidence of the very earliest moments of the universe. Our picture of the very beginning of the universe is still incomplete, with outstanding questions like:

What powered the big bang?
What is the dark matter that binds together the universe?
What is the dark energy that thrusts apart the universe?
Are there hidden spacetime dimensions?
What was before the big bang?
Most science lectures talk about what we know. In "The First Second in the Life of the Universe" I will talk about what we don't know, and the process of scientific investigation to find the answers.

Rocky Kolb
Theoretical Astrophysics Group

Edward W. Kolb (known to most as Rocky) is head of the NASA/Fermilab Astrophysics Group at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where he was the first head of Astrophysics. He is also a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at The University of Chicago.

A native of New Orleans, he received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas. Postdoctoral research was performed at the California Institute of Technology and Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was the J. Robert Oppenheimer Research Fellow.

The field of Rocky's research is the application of elementary-particle physics to the very early Universe. In addition to over 200 scientific papers, he is a co-author of "The Early Universe," the standard textbook on particle physics and cosmology. His new book for the general public, "Blind Watchers of the Sky" (winner of the 1996 Emme award from the AAS), is the story of the people and ideas that shaped our view of the universe.

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Last Update: August 11, 2000