Where Did Most of the Universe Go? Searching for Dark Matter

Friday, February 12, 2016: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Wilson A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Despite decades of research, starting in the 1930s, and the efforts of hundreds of cosmologists, astronomers, and physicists, we still know surprisingly little about the composition of the cosmos. While we now have a reasonably clear picture of “visible matter” – the building blocks of everyday objects – we also know this makes up just 5 percent of the universe. Where is the rest? One answer lies in the existence of another form of matter not visible using current methods and of unknown nature; as a result, dubbed “dark matter.” Current calculations suggest the universe contains more than 5 times more “dark” than ordinary matter, but we have no idea what it is, how it interacts with ordinary matter other than through gravity, or why it even exists. Add in the puzzle of “dark energy,” an unknown form of energy that continues to accelerate the universe’s expansion, and understanding “dark science” becomes the biggest challenge of modern physics and astronomy. This symposium provides an overview of dark matter, from the latest cosmological evidence of its existence to updates on the various theoretical and experimental methods now being used to “find” it -- as the first step toward understanding its properties, existence, and interaction with the visible universe.
Terry O'Connor, Science and Technology Facilities Council
Manuel Gnida, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Tom Abel, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology
Carlos Frenk, Institute for Computational Cosmology
Elisabetta Barberio, Center of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale
Dark Matter: We’re Sure It’s There, But How Do We Find It?
Stefan Funk, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nurnberg
Indirect Detection: ‘Seeing’ Dark Matter Without Seeing It
JoAnne Hewett, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Putting It All Together: The Characterization of Dark Matter in the Next Decade
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