"Is bigger always better?" : Understanding Science talk by Prof. Richard de Grijs
In addition to Dr. May Chiao's talk about superconductors 21 May (see more here), on Sunday 24th May at 1:00 p.m., Prof. Richard de Grijs, a professor at the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University, will give a talk entitled "Is bigger always better? The quest for extremely large telescopes: opportunities for China." This talk will also be held at House Café in Wudaokou.
Astronomy is in a golden age. In the past half century, a new generation of telescopes and instruments allowed remarkable new discoveries such as quasars, black holes, gravitational arcs, planets orbiting other stars, gamma-ray bursts, the cosmic microwave background, dark matter and dark energy. In the last decade, satellite observatories and the new generation of 8- to 10-metre diameter ground-based telescopes have created a new view of our Universe, one dominated by poorly understood dark matter and a mysterious vacuum energy density ("dark energy"). This progress poses new, and more fundamental, questions. As the current generation of telescopes continues to probe the Universe and challenge our understanding, the time has come to take the next step. A telescope of 30 to 50-metre diameter can be built, and will provide astronomers with the ability to address the next generation of scientific questions. And Chinese astronomers and engineers are deeply involved in all aspects of the scientific and engineering preparation. The time has come for China to seize the lead!