Philosophy of Dark Energy Workshop

hubble supernova


Philosophy of Dark Energy Workshop
March 8 – 10, 2019
University of California, Irvine
Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, SBSG 1321

In the late 1990s, scientists working on the High-Z Supernovae Search Team and the Supernova Cosmology Project provided the first evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. To explain this acceleration, cosmologists have posited “dark energy”, a previously unknown kind of energy now believed to permeate all of space and to make up approximately 70% of the total energy of the universe. But what is dark energy? Is it the vacuum energy associated with known particle species? Or is it a manifestation of an entirely new entity? Or is it simply a reflection of a non-zero value for Einstein’s “cosmological constant”? This workshop will bring together physicists and philosophers to explore the epistemological and methodological issues raised by dark energy, with a focus on understanding the theoretical motivations and empirical evidence for different proposals concerning its nature.

For workshop speakers: view the shuttle schedule here.

Workshop schedule and talk abstracts updated on March 6, 2019.


Luca Amendola (Institute of Theoretical Physics in Heidelberg), The ever-changing dark energy

Robert Brandenberger (McGill University), Dynamical Relaxation of the Cosmological Constant and Dark Energy

Robert Caldwell (Dartmouth College), Dark Energy Needs Dark Radiation

Sean Carroll (Caltech University), Holography, Hilbert Space, and the Cosmological Constant

Anne-Christine Davis (University of Cambridge), Recent developments in Modified Gravity and Chameleons

Paul Hamilton, University of California, Los Angeles

Lavinia Heisenberg, Institute for Theoretical Physics, ETH Zurich

Dragan Huterer (University of Michigan), Dark Energy Two Decades After: Cosmological Probes and Consistency Tests

Jim Peebles (Princeton University), Finding LambdaCDM

Thomas Ryckman, Stanford University

Daniela Saadeh (University of Nottingham), Dark energy: can the fifth force be screened?

Chris Smeenk, University of Western Ontario

Shinji Tsujikawa, Tokyo University of Science

David Wallace, University of Southern California

This event is made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, to Chris Smeenk and Jim Weatherall.