Thanu Padmanabhan Wins 10-Year-Old Bet on Dark Matter (Download PDF)


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Pune-based theoretical astrophysicist Thanu Padmanabhan has won decade-long bet with a physicist from New Zealand, David Wiltshire, regarding the nature of dark energy.The terms and conditions of the wager were that if Wiltshire won, he would be given a clock of his choice to help him keep better track of the lack of constancy of cosmological ideas.

Indian astrophysicist wins challenge on dark energy

Indian Astrophysicist Wins Challenge on Dark Energy

Indian astrophysicist wins challenge on dark energy

What is Dark Energy?

  • It has been known for decades that the universe is expanding.
  • But until the late 1990s, it was believed that the expansion rate of the universe was slowing down, much like a car that is decelerating.
  • Studies in the late 90s disproved this and showed that the expansion rate of the universe was, in fact, increasing - that is, the universe is like an accelerating car!
  • This accelerated expansion demanded that nearly 70% of the energy driving the expansion must have very peculiar properties.
  • This peculiar component was dubbed as dark energy

About Thanu Padmanabhan

  • Thanu Padmanabhan was born on 10 March 1957 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
  • He is an Indian theoretical physicist and cosmologist whose research spans a wide variety of topics in Gravitation, Structure formation in the universe and Quantum Gravity.
  • He has published more than 260 papers and reviews in international journals and ten books in these areas.
  • Many of his contributions, especially those related to the analysis and modelling of dark energy in the universe and the interpretation of gravity as an emergent phenomenon, have made significant impact in the field.
  • He is currently a Distinguished Professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, (IUCAA) at Pune, India.
  • He was awarded Padma Shri award by President of India, in 2007.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 4, 2016


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