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Shaking Up the Dark Universe: The Dark Horses of Dark Matter

Thursday, June 2, 2016
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Forget what you think you know about dark matter. After a 30-year search for a single, as yet unidentified, species of dark matter particle that would make up some 25% of the mass of the universe, physicists are starting to consider novel explanations. Some envision invisible matter hiding within the folds of extra spatial dimensions. Others suggest not one kind of dark matter particle, but numerous species inhabiting a shadow universe. Others still conjecture that dark matter doesn’t exist, and instead propose that the laws of gravity need modification. We’ll bring together leading thinkers on dark matter—the revolutionary and conventional alike—for a distinctly unconventional discussion on the dark universe.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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Our media partner for this program is The Week.


John HockenberryJournalist

Three-time Peabody Award winner, four-time Emmy Award winner, and Dateline NBC correspondent John Hockenberry has broad experience as a journalist and commentator for more than two decades. Hockenberry is the anchor of the public radio show The Takeaway on WNYC and PRI.

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Katherine FreeseCosmologist

Katherine Freese is the George E. Uhlenbeck Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan and Visiting Professor of Physics at Stockholm University. She works on a wide range of topics in theoretical cosmology and astroparticle physics. She has been working to identify the dark matter and dark energy that permeate the universe, as well as to build a successful model for the early universe immediately after the Big Bang.

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Justin KhouryPhysicist

Justin Khoury is associate professor and undergraduate chair of physics & astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania. He obtained his B.Sc. from McGill University and his Ph.D from Princeton University under Paul Steinhardt.

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Stacy McGaughAstronomer, Cosmologist, Philosopher

Stacy McGaugh is an astrophysicist and cosmologist who studies galaxies, dark matter, and theories of modified gravity. He is an expert on low surface brightness galaxies, a class of objects in which the stars are spread thin compared to bright galaxies like our Milky Way.

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Neal WeinerPhysicist

Neal Weiner received his undergraduate degree in Physics and Mathematics from Carleton College and a PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. After completing his postdoctoral training at the University of Washington, Dr. Weiner joined the faculty of the Department of Physics at NYU in 2004.

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