Thursdays, 4:00 pm, Workman 101 (unless noted*)
Physics 579 Graduate Seminar
Dr. Dinesh Loomba, UNM Physics
Title: A Hunt for Dark Matter: A Tale of Sensitivity and Direction
We are now in the era of precision cosmology, where we know the age of the Universe, the geometry of space, the total energy density and what types of energy and matter contribute to it. Measurements suggest that ordinary matter, composed of protons and neutrons, is a mere 18% of the gravitational mass in the Universe. The rest is dark and, so far, we infer its existence only gravitationally. The goal of detecting and identifying dark matter is arguably one of the most important problems in 21st century science. We will review some of the observational evidence and theoretical motivations for dark matter. Finally, we will describe an experimental search for dark matter that hinges on detecting a signature critical for its discovery.