Event details | Osher Lifelong Learning Institute


Event Details 
Science Pop-Up Talks - Taming the Dark Matter Zoo Without Telescopes
Bonus Session! (With Series) Reyco Henning, Prof. of Physics and Astronomy, UNC at Chapel Hill ABSTRACT: The nature of dark matter is one of the most profound mysteries of contemporary physics. Based on many astronomical observations, we know its existence is indisputable, but it has also never been observed to interact with “normal” matter, and its true nature remains unknown – a perilous situation since dark matter makes up 85% of the matter in the universe! In this talk I will present the dark matter mystery and why we are convinced that dark matter exists. I will then talk about the rich and rapidly evolving experimental searches, some of which have interesting overlaps with fields like nuclear physics and quantum computers. BIO: Reyco Henning is a Professor in Physics and Astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During his career, his research has taken him from building experiments for the International Space Station down to deep underground laboratories around the world. His current research involves studying the nature of matter at its most fundamental level by measuring properties of the elusive neutrino, a type of subatomic particle. Specifically, he is involved with experiments that search for the rarest processes in the universe — neutrinoless double-beta decay — the discovery of which would mean that the neutrino is its own antiparticle and provide clues to the origin of matter in the universe. Another focus of his research is direct searches for dark matter — the dominant but unknown form of matter in the universe. This work involves building detectors to search for axions, a strong candidate for dark matter, using technology also employed in quantum information science. He has BS degrees in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Denver and a PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He did his post-doctoral research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory before moving to UNC in 2007. He is a co-recipient of the 2016 Breakthrough Prize as member of Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) Collaboration. In 2013 he led a team of instructors in converting the calculus-based introductory mechanics course at UNC into a more interactive lecture-studio format while also adding modern physics, including relativity, and in 2018 he received UNC’s J. Carlyle Sitterson Award for Teaching First-year Students. He is an author on more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and has given over 50 invited professional presentations, as well as public talks in venues ranging from gold mines to high-school classrooms to breweries.
Event Type : Study Groups      
Category : Science Pop-Up Talks - Series Three
Date(s) : 05/26/2022
Day of Week : Thursday
Time : 1:00 - 2:30PM
Location : Online
Fee : $10.00
Event Status : COMPLETED