Theoretical astrophysicist Katherine Freese ponders the question: What is the universe made of? The longest outstanding problem in all of modern physics, this question is the most important research topic in cosmology and particle physics today. Why? Because, it is clear, the bulk of the mass in the universe consists of a new kind of dark matter particle. Dark matter searches are three-pronged: with particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, in Geneva; in underground laboratory experiments worldwide; and with astrophysical searches of dark matter annihilation products. Currently there are claimed detections in multiple experiments—but they cannot possibly all be right. Still, excitement is building in the cosmology community that the nature of the dark matter particle may soon be revealed.
Following the lecture, Dr. Freese will sign copies of her book, The Cosmic Cocktail.
Support for Hayden Planetarium Programs is provided by the Schaffner Family.