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The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures

Founded in 1999, the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures are presented on six Wednesday evenings during each school year at Foothill College, in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. Speakers over the years have included Nobel-prize winners, members of the National Academy of Sciences, the first woman in history to discover a planet, an astrophysicist who is an award-winning science fiction writer, and many other well-known scientists explaining astronomical developments in everyday language.
The series is moderated by Foothill's astronomy instructor Andrew Fraknoi and sponsored by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the SETI Institute, NASA's Ames Research Center, and the Foothill College Astronomy Program.

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Dr. Anthony Aguirre (University of California at Santa Cruz) "Multiple Universes and Cosmic Inflation: The Quest to Understand Our Universe (and Find Others)"
May 18, 2011

Listen (mp3 file, 24 MB)

Our improving understanding of the cosmos points to an early epoch during which the universe expanded at a stupendous rate to create the vast amount of space we can observe. Cosmologist are now coming to believe that this "cosmic inflation" may do much more: in many versions, inflation goes on forever, generating not just our observable universe but also infinitely many such regions with similar or different properties, together forming a staggeringly complex and vast "multiverse". Dr. Aguirre traces the genesis of this idea, explores some of its implications, and discusses how scientists are seeking ways to test this idea.



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The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures
Podcasts

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