Silver Jubilee Lecture

We are proud to present Prof. Dr. Rachid Sunyaev as the speaker of the Silver Jubilee Hendrik de Waard lecture!

2011 Jubilee Lecture featuring Rachid Sunyaev

About the lecture: How hot gas in cold space reveals the secrets of the big bang

Nearly fourteen billion years ago our whole universe was in a hot dense state, until a big bang initiated an extreme expansion. At that time, the universe was filled with elementary matter particles and photons (particles of light). All these particles traveled through the soup at tremendous speeds, colliding with each other all the time. 379.000 years later the universe has cooled down and consequently, the matter particles and photons stop interacting. The soup splits in two components: a matter part and a photon part. From that time on, the photons travel lonely through the universe for billions of years, carrying with them the secrets of the big bang...

The famous Russian astronomer Rashid Sunyaev discovered that during their billions of years of travel, these photons aren't so lonely after all: they interact with hot gas in between galaxies. These interactions change the photons in an unmistakable way and provide us the unique opportunity to extract some of the secrets of the big bang by measuring these photons.

About the speaker: Professor Rachid Sunyaev

Professor Rachid Sunyaev

Professor Sunyaev was born in 1943 in a Tatar family in the Soviet Union. Although member of an oppressed ethnic group, his extreme intelligence was quickly recognized and gave him access to the best education in the Soviet Union. Mentored by the brilliant scientist Yakov Zel'dovich, who became "Hero of Socialist Labor" three times for (i) chemical rocket fuel; (ii) the Russian atomic bomb and (iii) the Russian Hydrogen bomb, Sunyaev became one of the leading scientists within the Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union he became director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Munich, while keeping his connection to the Russian Academy of Sciences. Besides the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect which is described above, he also investigates how matter falls into black holes and works on X-ray astronomy.

Details on the lecture

Start: Monday the 23rd of May, 20:00h
Location: Aula Academybuilding, Broerstraat 5