Speaker: Dr Ben Roberts
Affiliation: University of Queensland, School of Mathematics and Physics


The great cosmic mystery of dark matter is one of the big open questions in modern physics.

According to astrophysical observations, about 85% of the matter in the universe is dark matter. Despite this, dark matter has never been directly observed, and we have essentially no idea about its microscopic quantities.

By far, most experiments searching for dark matter focus on WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles), heavy weak-scale particles with masses between ~ 10 to 1000x that of the proton.

As WIMP searches continue to measure zero, the interest in wider range of possibilities is growing.

In fact, the range of possible masses that dark matter could have spans an unimaginable 90 orders-of-magnitude.

Most current experiments are blind to the majority of this range.

Taking advantage of atomic (rather than the typical nuclear) phenomena, however, may drastically increase the range of masses we can search for.

In this talk, I'll discuss why we believe so strongly in particle dark matter, and discuss some of the work at the forefront of this search, including contributions at UQ.

In particular, I will discuss ways to extend the dark matter search to lower masses; i.e., en*lightening* the search for dark matter.

About Physics colloquium

The Physics Colloquium series hosts a range of speakers from Australia and abroad. The series explores a variety of topics and everyone is welcome to come along. The seminars are open so there is no need to register your attendance.

Previous recorded Physics Colloquia.


Parnell Building (07)
Room: 222