170 | Priya Natarajan on Galaxies, Black Holes, and Cosmic Anomalies


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There is so much we don’t know about our universe. But our curiosity about the unknown shouldn’t blind us to the incredible progress we have made in cosmology over the last century. We know the universe is big, expanding, and accelerating. Modern cosmologists are using unprecedentedly precise datasets to uncover more details about the evolution and structure of galaxies and the distribution and nature of dark matter. Priya Natarajan is a cosmologist working at the interface of data, theory, and simulation. We talk about the state of modern cosmology, and how tools like gravitational lensing are providing us with detailed views of what’s happening in the distant universe.

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Priya Natarajan received her Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge. She is currently professor of astronomy at Yale University, the Sophie and Tycho Brahe Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen, and an honorary professor for life at the University of Delhi, India. She is an Affiliate at the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard University and an Associate Member of the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute in New York. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and other publications. Among her awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the India Abroad Foundation’s “Face of the Future” Award, and an India Empire NRI award for Achievement in the Sciences. She is the author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos.

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