Galaxy being studied for dark matter
World-renowned physicists will explore the latest developments in dark matter and dark energy at a major UCLA symposium that runs from Feb. 22 through 24 at the Marriott Hotel in Marina del Rey, Calif.
Hints of dark matter signals will be analyzed and debated at " Sources and Detection of Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe ," UCLA’s 10th symposium on the subject.
Dark matter, the mysterious substance estimated to make up some 23 percent of the mass of the universe, is crucial to the formation of galaxies, stars, supernovas and even life, said the symposium’s organizer, David Cline, a UCLA professor of physics and one of the world’s experts on dark matter.
More than 150 distinguished physicists who focus on the theory and detection of dark matter will attend the conference, which will include reports from major dark matter detection groups throughout the world. Recent hints of dark matter include claims that the space-based Fermi detector has received dark matter signals from the center of large clusters of galactic centers, and several experiments that claim to have detected signals of low-mass dark matter particles.
Dark matter particles could be discovered soon, Cline said. In coming years, there will be new and more sensitive data from searches by the world’s largest dark matter detectors, which are operated in deep underground laboratories in China and worldwide, and new data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the CERN laboratory outside Geneva.
"There is very strong proof of the existence of dark matter, but we still do not know its origin," said Cline, who was one of the founders of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN some two decades ago and is still an active collaborator. CMS is one of the four main experiments of the LHC, the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.
It was at this same dark matter symposium in 1998 that two groups of scientists reported that the universe is accelerating, as well as expanding, a finding Cline described as "one of the greatest discoveries in the history of science."
UCLA has a strong experimental team of physicists working on two of the most advanced liquid xenon and liquid argon dark matter detectors in the world. The team is led by David Cline, physics researcher Hanguo Wang and professor of physics Katsushi Arisaka.