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The Mysteries of Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Universe
May 30, 2015 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm$10 - $30
Everyone knows there are things we can’t see — the air we breathe, for example, or to be more exotic, a black hole. But what you may not know is that what we can see — a tree, a building or our planet — makes up only 5% of the Universe. The other 95% is totally invisible to us and its presence is discernible only by the weak effects it has on visible matter around it.
This invisible stuff comes in two varieties — dark matter and dark energy. One holds the Universe together, while the other tears it apart. (In 1998 was the astonishing revelation that the Universe is not only expanding, but doing so at an ever-quickening pace.) What these forces really are has been a mystery for as long as anyone has suspected they were there, but the latest discoveries of experimental physics have brought us closer to that knowledge. Particle physicist Dan Hooper and cosmologist Elise Jennings will explain some of the toughest ideas science has to offer and how they are working to discover what makes up our dark cosmos. Particle physics explores the fundamental nature of energy and matter, while cosmology is the science of the universe itself, including its composition, history and evolution.
Elise Jennings is a research associate in the astrophysics theory group at Fermi National Laboratory and an associate fellow at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Research at the University of Chicago. She is a computational cosmologist and interested in large scale structure measurements which can constrain dark energy and modified gravity models. In particular she has worked on simulations that allow us to determine the expansion history and growth rate of structure in the universe, which are important ways to test the standard model of cosmology.
Dan Hooper is an Associate Scientist in the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. Previously, he was the David Schramm Fellow at Fermilab, and a postdoc at theUniversity of Oxford. In 2003, he completed his Ph.D in physics at theUniversity of Wisconsin. Dan’s research focuses on the interface between particle physics and cosmology. He is especially interested in questions about dark matter, supersymmetry, neutrinos, extra dimensions and cosmic rays.
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