University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext 32215
Fax: (519) 746-8115
Particle physicists have built a remarkably successful theory, the Standard Model, to describe the fundamental constituents of matter and their interactions. Its predictions have been confirmed by decades of experimental tests, yet it is incomplete. A sister branch of inquiry, astrophysics, provides us with convincing evidence that the Standard Model describes only about 5% of the universe; approximately a quarter of the universe consists of something whose gravitational effects can be seen in a variety of astrophysical phenomena but which we have been unable to detect and identify in the laboratory. We label it “dark matter” (DM) because it does not give off light – in fact, it does not directly interact through any of the known forces except gravity. Most physicists agree that DM consists of new subatomic particle(s); the quest to discover its exact nature is among the foremost missions in modern physics and the greatest treasure hunts in history. This talk will introduce the basic principles of DM direct detection experiments, and how the next generation of these experiments seeks to shed some light on a wide range of DM particle candidates.
This talk is geared toward an upper year audience; as always, everyone is welcome to attend.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office.