Astronomy, Pythagorean Astronomy, Radio and Podcasts

Pythagorean Astronomy: Cosmic Developments

3D model of LiteBIRD satellite in front of an image of stars, galaxies and the CMB

The LiteBIRD satellite. Image source.

Our understand of the Universe has changed a great deal in the last 100 years. From Einstein’s theories of relativity and measurements of the expanding Universe, to the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background and the mysterious Dark Energy.

But what are the current mysteries and unknowns that we still want to uncover? And how much is our progress guided by technological developments?

Dr Ian Harrison, currently at the University of Oxford, but shortly to return to Cardiff University, studies increasingly precise observations from many different telescopes and observatories, comparing them to theoretical predictions. Dr Samantha Stever, from Okayama University, and formerly an undergraduate here in Cardiff, works on the design and build of scientific instruments, designed to make these incredibly precise measurements, including the LiteBIRD satellite currently being built.

Between Ian and Samantha, we can journey from our early developments in theoretical understanding the Universe and the initial measurements, to the latest technological achievements that are allowing us to test the current theories to their limits.

An extended edition of an original broadcast on 1st July 2021 as part of Pythagoras’ Trousers on Radio Cardiff.