Dark Matter and Dark Energy: Mysteries of the Universe


Date Thursday June 28th 2007
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

A scientific revolution in our understanding of the universe is underway. In the last decade or so, cosmology has become an observational science and two mysteries of the universe have emerged: about a quarter of the energy density in the universe is in the form of “dark matter,” which gravitationally attracts but is otherwise invisible, and about two-thirds is “dark energy,” which causes the universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate. That means only a small fraction of the energy in the universe is composed of matter that we understand

In this forum, we will explore the evidence for dark matter and dark energy, and some of the experiments being developed to investigate their fundamental nature.


Patricia Burchat is Professor of Physics at Stanford University. She studies differences in the time evolution of matter and antimatter with the international BABAR Collaboration at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. She also studies the gravitational "lensing" of light by massive clusters of galaxies. Prof. Burchat was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2005/2006. She was appointed a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education in 2004, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2001. She was recently awarded the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is Stanford University's highest teaching honor.

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