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The mysteries of dark matter and dark energy may be evidence that we don’t fully understand the force of gravity. But when it comes to a force that has been studied mathematically and probed observationally for hundreds of years, what do we still need to learn? What questions are being asked? What research is pursued at the cutting edge? Would a new theory of gravity lead to a grand revolution in science, or do our present theories just need to be tweaked?

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Moderator

Richard PanekAuthor

Richard Panek is the author of several popular books about science, including, most recently, The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality, which received the 2012 American Institute of Physics award in Science Communication.

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Participants

Rachel A RosenPhysicist

Rachel A Rosen is an assistant professor of theoretical physics at Columbia University. Her research focuses on gravity, quantum field theory and the intersection of the two. She is best known for her contributions to massive gravity, a theory in which the graviton — the particle that transmits the gravitational force — has a mass.

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Pedro FerreiraPhysicist

Pedro G. Ferreira is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford. Originally from Portugal, he has studied and worked in London, Berkeley and at CERN in Geneva. His area of expertise is cosmology, focusing on the physics of the early universe and with a special interest in Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

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Szabolcs MarkaPhysicist

Szabolcs Marka is leader of the Columbia Experimental Gravity Group in LIGO and a professor of physics at Columbia. He has received an NSF Career Award and a Grand Challenges Explorations Award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Spiropulu
Maria SpiropuluPhysicist

Maria Spiropulu is a Physics Professor at Caltech. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard and was a Fermi Fellow at the Enrico Fermi Institute; she worked at CERN as a Physics Researcher. She’s been researching elementary particles and their interactions at Fermilab’s Tevatron and CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

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David GrossPhysicist, Nobel Laureate in Physics

David Gross is the Chancellor’s Chair professor of Theoretical Physics and former director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB. Gross was previously Thomas Jones professor of mathematical physics at Princeton University.

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