SLAC Public Lecture Series
Dark Matter: Detecting Gravity’s Hidden Hand
Dark matter is one of the most mysterious components of the universe. Yet it makes up 23 percent of the mass of the universe – six times the mass of ordinary, atomic matter. Physicists have never observed dark matter particles directly, but we see their influence throughout astronomy. The gravitational pull of this hidden matter is the force that created structure in the universe, shaping galaxies and forming the distribution of clusters and voids we see in the sky. One of today’s great challenges in physics is to observe individual dark matter particles coming in from the galaxy and striking particles on Earth. This talk presents the evidence for dark matter and introduces one of the most ambitious efforts to discover interactions of dark matter particles, using tons of cryogenic liquid in a deep underground laboratory.