The dark side of the Universe
What is the Universe made of? How did the Universe begin?
The ordinary atoms that make up the known universe, from our bodies and the air we breathe to the planets and stars, constitute only 5% of all matter and energy in the cosmos. The remaining 95% is made up of a recipe of 25% dark matter and 70% dark energy, both nonluminous components whose nature remains a mystery.
Katherine Freese will recount stories from her book The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter, from the discoveries of visionary scientists like Fritz Zwicky, the Swiss astronomer who coined the term "dark matter" in 1933, to the deluge of data today from underground laboratories, satellites in space, and the Large Hadron Collider.
Theorists contend that dark matter consists of fundamental particles known as WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles. Billions of them pass through our bodies every second without us even realizing it, yet their gravitational pull is capable of whirling stars and gas at breakneck speeds around the centers of galaxies, and bending light from distant bright objects.
In this lecture Freese will provide an overview of this cosmic cocktail, including the evidence for the existence of dark matter in galaxies. Many cosmologists believe we are on the verge of solving this mystery and this talk will provide the foundation needed to fully fathom this epochal moment in humankind's quest to understand the Universe.
Afterwards, cosmic cocktails made of dark matter will be served while Bellhound Choir will be playing melancholic, acoustic, heavy music. Later, BABY DUKA will play the danceable genres of Electronic Island Pop mixed with Palm Tree Bass.
Katherine Freese is theoretical astrophysicist and the George Eugen Uhlenbeck Collegiate Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan. In September 2014 she assumed the position of Director of Nordita, the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics, in Stockholm. She has been working to identify the dark matter and dark energy that permeate the universe as well as to build a successful model for the early universe immediately after the Big Bang. She is author of a book The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter, published in June 2014 by Princeton University Press.