Dark Matter Day casts light on cosmic puzzle

The Particle Physics and Cosmology Theory group at Swansea University were joined by school pupils, students and members of the public in their quest for the unseen – as they hosted Dark Matter Day.

Dark matter day

The event was part of global celebrations of dark matter and visitors were invited to lectures, drop in activities, panel discussions, quizzes and experiments which outlined what is known about dark matter, and looked at techniques and observations that will help scientists to settle this cosmic puzzle in the next decades.

Professor Gert Aarts of Swansea University Physics Department said: “It was great to see how people really got involved and were happy to explore current scientific theories on dark matter.”

“Scientists believe that dark matter, which has been so far only detected through its gravity-based effects, makes up about a quarter (27%) of the total mass and energy of the universe, and something that is driving the present universe's accelerating expansion -- which scientists call dark energy -- accounts for another 68%.

“The ordinary matter, like stars, planets and galaxies and us, makes up only 5% of the total mass and energy of the universe.  We are not sure if dark matter is made up of undiscovered particles, or if it can be explained by tweaking the known laws of physics."

Dark matter day

The event was organised by Dr. Ivonne Zavala, PhD student Maria  Mylova with collaboration by Dr. Gianmassimo Tasinato, PhD student  Cari Powell and Anika Aynul from Olchfa School.  Elen Jonston from Crickhowell High School.

Dr Angharad Thomas and Cari Powell (PhD student) were interviewed by Prynhawn Da about the event - http://beta.s4c.cymru/clic/e_level2.shtml?programme_id=540266928 (29 minutes in)

The event was supported by the Physics Department STFC  and Genre Music