In this series of posts, we sit down with a few of the keynote speakers of the 237th AAS meeting to learn more about them and their research. You can see a full schedule of their talks here, and read our other interviews here!
Breaking the StandardFor the last two decades, one model for understanding large-scale structure in the universe has been held up as the “standard model” of cosmology: ΛCDM, which consists of the cosmological constant (Λ, denoting the accelerating expansion of the universe) and cold dark matter (CDM, where “cold” means non-relativistic) along with normal matter. So far, ΛCDM is the simplest cosmological model that is largely consistent with observations… but some cracks are starting to show.
Professor Priya Natarajan (Image credit: CU Boulder)
Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan is trying to push at those cracks. Natarajan, a professor at Yale Astronomy and Physics, is a theoretical astrophysicist who has studied diverse topics ranging from the growth of black holes over cosmic time to the outflows around quasars. At her #AAS237 plenary talk, she will focus on “stress-testing ΛCDM” in one of her longest-running projects.“We’re trying to use clusters of galaxies as astrophysical labs and cosmological probes,” Natarajan explains. ...