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Cosmology and Life

Presenter: Mario Livio
When: October 17, 2006 2:30PM PDT

I will examine recent findings in cosmology and their implications for the emergence of life in the universe and the ultimate fate of life. In particular, I will discuss:
(i) The requirements for carbon-based life and their dependence on the values of physical constants.

(ii) The inflationary model and its potential implications for the existence of an ensemble of universes.

(iii) The nature of dark energy and its relation to life.

(iv) The possibility of time-varying constants of nature.

(v) The question of the potential rarity of intelligent life.

About the Speaker:

Dr Mario Livio is a Senior Astrophysicist at the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute, and the previous head of the Institute’s Science Division. He joined the Institute in 1991 as head of the Archive Branch. Prior to coming to the Institute, he completed his undergraduate studies (majoring in both physics and mathematics) at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, his M.Sc. degree (in theoretical particle physics) at the Weizmann Institute, an his Ph.D. (in theoretical astrophysics) at Tel-Aviv University. He was a professor of physics in the physics department of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology from 1981 until 1991.

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