World Space Week Evening public lecture: The hunt for dark matter
We see the effects of this mysterious material in the Universe, but what is it? and how can we find out?
About this Event
The University of Surrey and the Institute of Physics have partnered with an array of local organisations to celebrate World Space Week 2019 (4 – 10 October). One really exciting part of this is a talk about Dark Matter in the Odeon Cinema.
Doors open 5.30pm.
Since its discovery by the Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky in the 1930's, dark matter has continued to capture the public imagination. It raises the velocity of stars and gas in galaxies, bends light around massive galaxy clusters and promotes the growth of structure in the Universe. In this talk, I will explain the key evidences for dark matter, and our latest theories for what it is. I will show that the latest data point towards dark matter being some new particle that lies beyond the standard model of particle physics. If this is correct, then billions of these particles will flow through your head by the time you finish reading this paragraph (without effect thankfully). This is such a striking thought that it has already inspired many artists and writers, from Cornelia Parker's "Cold Dark Matter" sculpture to Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials". I conclude with a look to the future and our prospects for detecting or creating such a particle in the next five years.
The Lecturer: Prof. Justin Read is Head of Physics at the University of Surrey. His main area of research is gravitational probes of dark matter, studying everything from the tiniest galaxies in the Universe, where we can measure how dark matter clusters on the smallest scales, to giant clusters of galaxies, where we can produce images of the distribution of dark matter using gravitational lensing.
Prof. Read completed his PhD in theoretical astrophysics at Cambridge University, UK in 2004. After a two-year postdoctoral research position, also in Cambridge, he moved to the University of Zürich to join the computational science group. In 2009, he joined the University of Leicester as a lecturer in theoretical astrophysics, and in October 2010 he was awarded an SNF assistant professorship at the ETH Zürich. In April 2013, he took up a full Chair at the University of Surrey. Prof. Read was awarded the 2013 MERAC Prize by the European Astronomical Society for his high impact research in computational astrophysics and cosmology. He is a fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Physiographic Society of Lund.
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