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Talk by Dr Alex Hall

The expansion of the Universe is accelerating, and we do not understand why. To ‘explain’ this acceleration, cosmologists have theorised the existence of a substance called Dark Energy. If it really exists, Dark Energy must have properties completely at odds with standard matter. Furthermore, it must make up around 70% of the Universe. Add in Dark Matter – also poorly understood – and 95% of the present-day Universe is made from invisible, ‘dark’ components – a highly unsatisfactory situation! To address these mysteries, the European Space Agency has created the Euclid space telescope. Euclid was launched in July 2023 and is expected to revolutionize not just cosmology but many areas of astronomy. In the talk, I will describe the Euclid mission and present early results, highlighting Edinburgh’s key role in the mission.

Dr Alex Hall is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and academic staff member at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2014 before moving to the Royal Observatory. His research interests are in theoretical and observational cosmology, and he is one of the core science leads for the Euclid mission.