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Physics colloquium: Christopher Kelso, University of North Florida, Physics Dept.
February 6, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
University of North Florida, Physics Department
“The Final Chapter in the Search for Dark Matter?”
Abstract: The nature of dark matter is one of the most compelling mysteries in modern physics. The initial evidence for dark matter was found 85 years ago by Fritz Zwicky, who studied the motion of galaxies within the Coma Cluster. In the years since, a wealth of additional evidence for this hypothesis has been obtained, from observations of the rotation of spiral galaxies, the cosmic microwave background, and the collisions of galaxy clusters, as well as from simulations of the formation of the largest structures in the cosmos. One of the most intriguing and most studied explanations is the possibility of a new fundamental particle, stable on cosmological timescales, that does not interact with light. The latest evidence from astronomical observations suggests that roughly 85% of the matter in the universe consists of these new particles. As dark matter experiments have become increasingly more sensitive, however, many of the most plausible models have already been ruled out. This fact, along with the impending “neutrino floor,” has pushed many researchers into the opinion that particle dark matter will be discovered in the next 10 years, or become a much harder problem to solve.