The Mysterious Dark Universe: Kolb of University of Chicago Is 2016 Leon Lederman Lecturer

Edward W. “Rocky” Kolb of the University of Chicago will give the 2016 Leon Lederman Lecture in Physics on Monday, October 24 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Robert A. Pritzker Science Center, Room 111. All are welcome. RSVP to Todd Kersh at

Kolb is the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics at Chicago. The eminent cosmologist studies the application of elementary particle physics to the very early universe.

In his lecture “The Mysterious Dark Universe,” he will explore how the answer to the question of what the universe is made of is not simple. Astronomical observations tell us that 95 percent of the universe is missing. Most of the mass of the universe is in a mysterious form known as dark matter, and most of the energy in the universe is in an even more mysterious form known as dark energy. Dark matter and dark energy will determine the ultimate fate of our universe, Kolb says; understanding the nature of the dark universe is the biggest challenge facing cosmology today.

Kolb is a member of the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at Chicago, as well as dean of physical sciences. In 1983, he helped to found the Theoretical Astrophysics Group and in 2004 was the founding director of the Particle Astrophysics Center at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Physical Society, among many other awards and honors. In addition to over 200 scientific papers, he is a co-author of The Early Universe, the standard textbook on particle physics and cosmology. Read more.

“Rocky Kolb is an excellent and accomplished astro-particle physicist with an outstanding ability to make complex concepts understandable to the public,” said Grant Bunker, chair and professor of physics.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Physics and honors physicist Leon Lederman, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988 with Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger and was the Pritzker Professor of Physics at Illinois Tech from 1992-2012. Members of the physics faculty and others have pledged money to permanently endow the Lederman lecture.

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