"Facts and Speculations in Cosmology" - public lecture by Prof.Jayant Narli

`Facts and Speculations in Cosmology'

by Professor Jayant Narlikar,

Emeritus Professor,
Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics,
Pune, India

3rd December 2008 (Wednesday), 4 PM

Public Lecture 64th Annual Sessions of SLAAS

Prof V K Samaranayake Auditorium, UCSC
University of Colombo


This talk will discuss the present state of cosmology, the subject
dealing with the studies of the origin, evolution and end of the
universe in the large. In ancient times the thinkers had detailed
and complex notions about the cosmos but those were speculations
with no basis in real facts. With the progress of observational
astronomy, our understanding about larger and larger parts of the
universe grew and speculations gave place to more facts and science
based ideas. Modern cosmology is around a century old and it took
shape around Einstein's general relativity and the data on galaxies
from Edwin Hubble and his coworkers. Thus the concept of the
expanding universe was born. We will describe the successes of this
concept which have led cosmologists in modern times to be bolder and
apply their equations to find what the universe was like soon after
the big bang. It will be argued that despite the claimed results of
this approach, it is highly speculative and in many respects

Professor Jayant Vishnu Narlikar (born July 19,1938) (Marathi: प्रा. जयंत विष्णू नारळीकर) is an eminent Indian astrophysicist. Narlikar is considered a leading expert and defender of the steady state cosmology. His work on conformal gravity theory with Sir Fred Hoyle, called Hoyle-Narlikar theory, demonstrated a synthesis can be achieved between Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity and Mach's principle. India’s second highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan, was awarded to him for his work. Prof. Narlikar is the founder director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) at Pune, India.