Dark matter is the cosmic parent of all vast structures in the night sky, including our own Milky Way galaxy. Yet we know so very little about this mysterious stuff that constitutes 85%(!) of the material universe. We don’t know what it’s made of, we don’t know where it came from, and we don’t know if there’s any way to “see” it.
In the first half of the talk, Robert will outline concrete things we do know about dark matter and how we’ve come to know them. He will start with historically significant evidence for dark matter and move on to more recent observations and simulations. All of this evidence will be astronomical or cosmological in nature with beautiful accompanying images and simulations.
In the second half, he will discuss the three complementary and distinct ways in which physicists and astronomers are trying to answer: what is dark matter? These include directly detecting dark matter in giant underground experiments, producing it at huge particle accelerators, and searching for its possible electromagnetic signals in telescopes. He will cover current, state-of- the-art efforts in all three directions, underlining the hope of this generation of scientists to soon discover this profoundly important but elusive stuff.
Speaker: Robert McGehee, UC Berkeley
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