Where the sun don’t shine
Come listen to researchers presenting their project and ask them your questions!
Wednesday 19th May 2021
EVENT 19.30-21.30 (CEST)
Albert Einstein presented his theory of gravity just over 100 years ago. His theory turned our understanding of the universe on its head and predicted things that were unimaginable even to Einstein. In particular his theory gave detailed predictions about how black holes should behave. In recent years technological advances have allowed us to test these predictions and remarkably, despite Einstein’s reservations about the existence of black holes, his theory’s predictions match observations very well. However, the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics was partly awarded for a mathematical proof that something, somewhere must go wrong with Einstein’s theory and black holes. It is not known what goes wrong or how, but black holes truly now represent the very frontier of human knowledge.
Alex B. Nielsen
Associate Professor, UiS
Mitochondrial evolution - there and back again
1,5 billion years ago, there was a little bacterium that swallowed another bacterium. This seemingly unimportant moment started a massive expansion of higher organisms on this planet, which eventually led to you reading this abstract. The swallowed bacteria was enslaved and turned into a massive energy factory consuming oxygen.
However, evolution does not always lead to greater complexity. Intestinal parasites are specialized for life without oxygen which caused an extreme reduction of their bodies, genomes and metabolic capabilities. Studying this “backwards evolution” can shed life on the origin of life.
The dark ages in Rogaland
In the years 536 a worldwide catastrophic event led to two years without summer. Written sources have it that the sun did not shine brightly, harvests failed and in many regions people and livestock starved and died. But how can we learn anything about this event where nothing was written? In that case we must analyze archaeological sources to learn about these devastating years, their consequences for the people but also their coping strategies. The focus of my talk will be Rogaland in Southwest Norway, where a lot of archaeological research has been done on the subject.