On and around October 31, 2017, the world will celebrate the historic hunt for the unseen—something that scientists refer to as dark matter. Local events planned by institutions and individuals around the planet will engage the public in discussions about what we know about dark matter, and about the many present and planned experiments that seek to solve its mysteries.
Grounds for Science: Dark Matter Day!
Elizabeth Boulton (LBNL) and Katelin Schutz (UCB)
Friday, October 27 – 6:30pmScarlet City Espresso Bar 3960 Adeline Street Emeryville, CA 94608 How do we look for evidence of “Dark Matter” in the universe? Two young researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and UC Berkeley will share stories of their search for dark matter in the heavens and deep underground. Grounds for Science is a public science talk series organized by and featuring UC Berkeley graduate students. Enjoy some cutting-edge science at Scarlet City: a science-fiction-themed cafe that offers a small, intimate environment, home-roasted coffee, select beers and snacks, and a collection of sweet pinball machines. Event Info
Chasing a ‘Phantom’: Our Hunt for Dark Matter
Heather Gray, Zach Marshall, Dan McKinsey
Sunday, October 29 – 2:00-3:30pmLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory The event is free with admission to the Chabot Space & Science Center. (Chabot admission is free to members, $18 for non-member adults, $14 for youths ages 3-12, and $15 for seniors 65 and up and for students ages 13-18 or college students with college ID.) In this special Dark Matter Day presentation, dark matter scientists will share their experiences searching for dark matter particles using underground particle accelerators and ultra-sensitive detectors. Attendees will also see the “Phantom of the Universe” planetarium show. There is no registration for this event, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Speaker presentations will include: Bringing Balance to the LHC Data (Heather Gray) Dark matter wouldn’t appear at the LHC as a signal in the data — actually it’s quite the opposite! Physicists at ATLAS use the basic law of conservation of momentum to “see” when something is missing from an event. This relies on measuring each collision in the detector very precisely. Dr Gray will explain what ATLAS measures, and how we detect when something is missing. What’s Missing in the LHC Data (Zach Marshall) The Standard Model of particle physics has held up for a half-century as the most precise theory ever derived. It’s precision could be it’s downfall: with careful study of the imbalance in events at the LHC, it might be possible to find Dark Matter! Dr Marshall will describe how some of these searches take place, and whether there might be a new Dark Matter discovery lurking around the corner. Searching for Dark Matter Particles in a Gold Mine (Dan McKinsey) To avoid cosmic ray interference, experiments searching for dark matter interactions must be located deep underground. One new project is the LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter experiment that is taking shape at an underground research facility in South Dakota, built in the former Homestake gold mine. LUX-ZEPLIN will look for flashes of light produced by dark matter particles when they scatter in a tank filled with 10 tons of liquid xenon.