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Dean's Seminar: What is the Universe Made Of? Searching for Dark Matter with Bubble Chambers

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

3:30 PM-5:00 PM

Russell Neilson, PhD, assistant professor of physics, Drexel University


Remnants from the Big Bang, in addition to the distribution of our stars and galaxies, strongly suggest that the particles and forces known to science are only a tiny fraction of the universe. Almost nothing is known about the remainder—dubbed “dark matter” or “dark energy”—and solving these twin puzzles is one of the most pressing open questions in physics.

A popular theory proposes that dark matter comprises particles similar in mass to ordinary atoms, but without the electromagnetic and chemical interactions atoms have with each other that allow us to observe them. The much weaker interactions of dark matter may still be barely observable with extremely sensitive experiments located a mile or more underground, away from the interference of cosmic rays.

In this talk, Russell Neilson, PhD, will describe a set of such experiments run by the international PICO collaboration, using bubble chamber technology to search for the elusive dark matter particles.
The College of Arts and Sciences' Dean's Seminars are free and open to the Drexel community. Light refreshments will be served.

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