Visiting scholar to discuss researching universe’s origin, evolution


August 10, 2018

Bharat Ratra, a distinguished professor of physics at Kansas State University, will discuss the quest to find answers about the universe in "The 'Standard' Model of Cosmology … and Open Questions" at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, in Room 194 of SUNY Oswego's Shineman Center.

In the free talk sponsored by Oswego's physics department, Ratra will explore how experiments and observations over the last two decades have provided strong support for a standard model of cosmology -- the science behind the origin and development of the universe -- that describes the evolution of the universe from its early epoch of inflation to today’s complex hierarchy of structure.

"I review the basic physics, astronomy and history of ideas on which this model is based," Ratra explained. "I describe the data which persuade cosmologists that (as yet undetected) dark energy and dark matter are by far the main components of the energy budget of the universe. I conclude with a list of open cosmological questions."

Ratra researches the structure and evolution of the universe, with two of his current interests being developing models for the large-scale matter and radiation distributions in the universe and testing these models by comparing predictions to observational data.

He was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After earning a master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, Ratra earned a doctorate in physics from Stanford University -- where Shashi Kanbur, SUNY Oswego professor and chair of physics and an expert on exploring the size and age of the universe, was a fellow graduate student.

For more information, contact SUNY Oswego's physics department at 315-312-3044.