Astroparticle Physics: On the Cusp of Discovery

Saturday, February 13, 2016: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Wilson B (Marriott Wardman Park)
Alex Murphy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The Universe is a fabulous laboratory within which to conduct physics. It provides the most powerful accelerators, the most exotic particles and the most extreme environments. After a brief introduction to the science of astroparticle physics, this talk will focus on the hunt for dark matter.

Dark matter is one of the most important and enduring enigmas of modern science. Since the 1930s, its been known that there must be about five times as much of this mysterious substance in the Universe than there is normal matter, and yet, it has never been seen. Why do we think it exists? What might it be? How might we finally be able to detect it? And how might its discovery rewrite the textbooks of physics? The answers may come from a remarkable new experiment taking shape deep under the hills of South Dakota.