Oren Slone, Dinner Speaker
Princeton Center for Theoretical Science
Date/ Time: Friday April 20, 2018
5:00 pm Registration/ Wine & Cheese
6:00 pm Dinner Speaker 7:00 - ~9:00 pm
Location: Joseph Henry Room, Jadwin Hall, Princeton University
Campus map (here) grid I-7.
Park in Lot 5 or 25 (on Ivy Lane)
A Paradigm Shift in our Understanding of Dark Matter
One of the most important unanswered conundrums of our time is: What is our universe made of? It is well established that there exist unsolved anomalies stemming from the observations of astrophysical and cosmological objects. For example, a striking measurement of the velocities of stars in galaxies suggests that they are attracted by significantly more mass than that seen through radiation. Similarly, looking back in time at the radiation produced when the universe was only 300,000 years old, we find that its spectrum has been distorted by an unknown form of matter. These and many other measurements, probing more than five orders of magnitude in length scale, cannot be explained by Einstein’s theory of general relativity together with the Standard Model of particle physics. Combining all experimental evidence, one concludes that more than 85% of the matter in the universe is composed of a yet unknown form, the celebrated Dark Matter (DM). Indeed, postulating the existence of a single additional gravitationally interacting particle, can account for a multitude of anomalies, informing us that our understanding of the universe and the theory of particle physics is far from complete.
However, recent observations on length scales below those of galaxies, point towards the possibility that DM may not be the standard cold and weakly interacting particles usually postulated. These observations, together with a flood of new theoretical models, may hint towards the existence of a far more rich and complex dark sector which could include particles with novel characteristics which have previously not been considered but could prove crucial for a future detection. I will present some of these recent developments and discuss the current paradigm shift in our understanding of what the form of DM may be. I will also discuss a new program, which I am part of together with many theoretical and experimental particle physicists, which hopes to detect these elusive particles in the coming decade.
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