Each year the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute organizes the Blaauw lecture. This is a lecture by an internationally renowned astronomer which everyone, including the general public, can attend. The level of the lecture is such that everyone should be able to understand it. This year, the Blaauw Lecture will be delivered by prof. Anna Scaife (University of Manchester). The Blaauw lecture take place on Wednesday October 11 in the Aula of the Academy Building of the University of Groningen. It starts at 8 p.m.
Blaauw lecture 2017: Dark Forces in the Invisible Universe
Magnetic fields are one of the most crucial components of the Universe. We know that magnetic fields are present everywhere: large-scale fields intersperse the gas in our own Milky Way, and contribute significantly to the turbulent motion of gas between galaxies; magnetic fields affect the evolution of all astrophysical systems – from the vast cosmic web that binds together intergalactic matter over cosmological distances, down to the smallest scales, where they are essential for the onset of star formation. However, in spite of how important magnetic fields are, we know embarrassingly little about them. Magnetic fields are elusive, we cannot see them directly - only the effect of the forces they exert on other things. I will discuss the effect that cosmic magnetic fields have on matter in the Universe, and how we can use new radio telescopes to probe these dark forces in order to understand magnetic fields better, because without understanding magnetic fields, how can you understand the Universe?
About prof. Anna Scaife
Professor Anna Scaife (MPhys Bristol; PhD Cambridge) is head of the Jodrell Bank Interferometry Centre of Excellence at the University of Manchester. She holds a European Research Council Fellowship, which funds her group's work investigating the origin and evolution of large-scale cosmic magnetic fields. In addition, she runs a number of projects in technical radio astronomy research and development as part of the Square Kilometre Array. In 2014, Anna was honoured by the World Economic Forum as one of thirty scientists under the age of 40 selected for their contributions to advancing the frontiers of science, engineering or technology in areas of high societal impact.