Event Details

The Program

There has been remarkable progress in cosmology in the last 100 years. We now know a lot about our universe - its origin from the Big Bang and the formation of stars and galaxies that we see dotting the night sky. Our cosmic inventory has revealed that the majority of the universe though is composed of invisible entities: dark matter, dark energy and black holes. These mysterious entities have played an important role in shaping the universe, yet their true nature remains elusive. In these lectures I will present what we know, how we have come to know and understand and what remains to be known about the cosmos.


  • An Introduction to the basics of Cosmology: measuring and mapping the universe
  • Unveiling the Dark Side of the Universe: Dark Matter & Dark Energy
  • Unveiling the Dark Side of the Universe: Black Holes
  • New Cosmic Frontiers


  • 4 90-min. (6 hours total) lecture and discussion sessions with Prof. Natarajan.
  • Participants may opt to write a short essay (<500 words) to compete for the Best Essay Award and receive direct feedback from Prof. Natarajan.

* Those who attend 100% of the sessions will each receive a certificate of completion.


  • Middle / high school / university students, researchers, and anyone who is interested in exploring the intersections of astronomy, cosmology, and philosophy

Participating Format

  • Please download and install the Zoom Application beforehand. Yale Center Beijing's staff will contact confirmed participants for further testing in advance of the program to ensure a pleasant experience.


  • The language of the seminar will be English.

Please note: All attendee information collected by Yale Center Beijing through the event registration form on this website, or by any other means, will be kept strictly confidential. Yale Center Beijing will never distribute, sell, license, or otherwise make available for any purpose, any attendee information to any third party, unless otherwise required by law.


  • Priyamvada Natarajan (Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University)

    Priyamvada Natarajan

    Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University

    Priyamvada Natarajan is the Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University. A very popular lecturer, Prof. Natarajan holds multiple degrees from MIT and did her graduate work in theoretical astrophysics at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge.

    She is a theoretical astrophysicist interested in cosmology, gravitational lensing and black hole physics. Her research and original contribution to the study of dark matter, dark energy and black holes has won her many prestigious awards and honors, including election to the fellowship of the American Physical Society, and the Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships.

    She was profiled in the BBC Series titled 'Stephen Hawking's Universe' in the episode on dark matter, and was invited to talk at Google's Seattle campus.

    At Yale she has served both as the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Graduate Studies at the Astronomy Department. She has also been the chair of the Women Faculty Forum.

    Outside of Yale she serves on the national Astronomy & Astrophysics Advisory Committee that advises NASA, and chairs the Division of Astrophysics of The American Physical Society.

    Her critically acclaimed book, Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos, combines her interests in astronomy and cosmology.

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