“Telescopes on the Moon: The Next Decades” with Joseph Silk (John Hopkins University and IAP, France)

The lunar surface allows a unique way forward, to go well beyond current limits in astronomy and cosmology. The far side provides a unique radio-quiet environment for probing the dark ages via 21 cm interferometry to seek elusive clues on the building blocks of the galaxies and the  nature of inflation.  Optical interferometers will eventually provide up to  a few microarsecond  imaging of the nearest exoplanets.  Far-infrared telescopes in cold and dark polar craters will probe the cosmic microwave background  radiation back to the first months of the Big Bang. 

Joseph Silk is Homewood Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a researcher at Institutd’Astrophysique de Paris and Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay in France. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Beecroft Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Silk has received many awards, including the 2011 International Balzan Foundation Prize. He has published more than 700 articles and several popular books. Most of his scientific research is related to cosmology and particle astrophysics. His specialties include the cosmic microwave background, the fossil radiation from the beginning of the universe; formation of the galaxies; and exploration of the nature of the dark matter that is the dominant form of matter in the observable universe. He discovered the Silk damping mass, a key component of the Big Bang theory of modern cosmology, and his predictions of the associated damping of cosmic microwave background radiation fluctuations have been verified by several recent experiments.

Webinar was recorded on October 26, 2023