A Light in the Dark: the Pursuit of the Nature of Dark Matter

Event Date: 
January 28, 2010
Dr. Greg Dobler, KITP

As a result of the strong interest in the subject of Dark Matter, Friends of KITP is hosting a January presentation given by Dr. Gregory Dobler, currently at KITP, on recent astrophysical findings related to the indirect detection of dark matter. This Chalk Talk will encourage, as always, questions and interaction by our guests on this rapidly developing story. When we look out into the universe, the objects that we see -- gas, stars, galaxies, etc -- constitute only 15% of the total matter in the universe. The other 85% does not interact electromagnetically and produces (as far as we can tell) no light to observe. However, we know that this "dark matter" exists because it does interact gravitationally and we observe these interactions. The mystery of what exactly makes up the vast majority of matter in the universe is still completely unknown, though there are several promising candidates and a wealth of new and upcoming data which may shed light on the problem. I will review the evidence for how we know there is dark matter out there and describe modern searches, both astronomical and terrestrial, which may be on the verge of uncovering the elusive nature of this fundamental component of the universe.

Speaker Bio: 
Dr. Gregory Dobler is an astrophysicist at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB. He received his PhD in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Pennsylvania and spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University. His research interests concentrate on indirect detection of particle dark matter as well as its gravitational effects via gravitational lensing.