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Physics and Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium

3:30 PM, Friday, February 5, 2010
Room 155, Chem-Phys Building

Dr. Cristiano Galbiati
Department of Physics
Princeton University

"A Walk on the Dark Side''

There is a wide range of astronomical evidence that the visible stars and gas in all galaxies, including our own, are immersed in a much larger cloud of non-luminous matter, typically an order of magnitude greater in total mass. The existence of this "dark matter'' is consistent with evidence from large-scale galaxy surveys and microwave background measurements, indicating that the majority of matter in the universe is non-baryonic. The nature of this non-baryonic component is still totally unknown, and the resolution of the "dark matter puzzle'' is of fundamental importance to cosmology, astrophysics, and elementary particle physics.
Three major lines of research are directing their efforts at detection of dark matter: the accelerator-based program at the LHC, indirect searches with satellite-born detectors and direct searches with detectors operated in deep underground laboratories. The time is ripe for a discovery, and the new generation of direct searches promises to probe the most interesting region of parameters for the dark matter candidates.
I will review and describe a number of current and future efforts dedicated to a comprehensive direct search for dark matter. They include operation of the WARP-140 argon-based detector at LNGS, construction of the DarkSide depleted argon detector, development of radiopure NaI detectors, and the development of the "MAX - Multi-Ton Argon and Xenon'' program at the forthcoming Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL). All these efforts will also be capable of probing the recent results published by the CDMS collaboration.

Refreshments will be served in CP 179 at 3:15 PM