Public Lecture | Cosmic Clue: The Dark Matter Mystery





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Published on Nov 23, 2015

The universe is full of giant structures like galaxies and clusters of galaxies. What holds them together? Over the past century, many diverse observations indicate that the glue holding these objects together is the gravitational pull of an invisible, elusive substance called dark matter. The evidence suggests that dark matter makes up 85 percent of the matter in the universe. But, though we know that this dark matter exists, we do not know what it is. This lecture will sift through the evidence on dark matter using the same questions invoked to solve a murder mystery in the game Clue: Who? Where? What? Could the answers be "Neutralino, in a dwarf galaxy, seen with gamma rays"? Our game of Cosmic Clue is ongoing and scientists are hot on the trails of a number of suspects.

About the Speaker:
Andrea Albert first learned about the mysterious dark matter of the universe in high school. As an undergraduate at Rice University, she became fascinated with this and other questions on the boundary between astrophysics and particle physics. She went to graduate school at the Ohio State University, where she joined the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope group to search for rare, faint signals from dark matter interactions. She continues this research at SLAC, where she is also working on the design of a next-generation gamma-ray telescope.

Special Note:
To demonstrate how crucial dark matter is to the structure of spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way, Universe Sandbox ² was used to create a typical spiral galaxy and then simulate what happens when you remove the dark matter component. Visit their website at:



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