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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - New light on the nature of dark matter after the recent, first detections of gravitational waves

10th February 2020, 17:30 to 18:30, Birley Room, Hatfield College, Professor Nelson Padilla (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile)

Abstract

If the current theory of gravity is correct then the mass in gas and stars in galaxies is not enough to keep them together. They rotate so fast that additional matter is needed otherwise they would fall apart. But this matter cannot be made of ordinary atoms because they would inevitably shine in some or other wavelength range. This is why it is called dark matter and to date we still do not know what it is made of. The detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO interferometers revealed numerous mergers of binary black holes, more than expected for stellar black holes that originate after the death of stars. Primordial black holes, which could form very shortly after the Big Bang, are a plausible alternative. Furthermore, since these would both be invisible and scattered everywhere in the Universe they are also good candidates for dark matter. We are witnessing an explosion in the interest to understand the consequences of this possibility and this is what we will explore during this lecture.

This lecture is free and open to all.


Details about Professor Nelson Padilla

Directions to Hatfield College

MapHatfield College is denoted as building No. 20

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.