Colloquium: Dr. Saurabh Jha (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Observations of type Ia supernovae (SN Ia), a class of exploding stars, ushered in a cosmological revolution: the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, driven by dark energy. I will describe current cosmological applications of SN Ia to measure the expansion rate of the Universe and constrain the nature of dark energy. Despite the cosmological utility of SN Ia, we still lack a detailed understanding of their progenitor systems and explosion physics. I will present advances in our knowledge of white dwarf supernovae through observations, including new data from JWST, that reveal both surprising homogeneity and diversity. Finally, I will preview SN Ia cosmology with upcoming flagship projects like the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.