Science Café Cleveland presents

"Do WIMPS Rule? The Search for Cosmic Dark Matter"


OCTOBER 8, 2012




Dan Akerib, PhD

Professor of Physics

Case Western Reserve University




Tom Shutt, PhD

Associate Professor of Physics

Case Western Reserve University




Most of us are aware that the force of gravity plays a major part of our lives, covering everything from falling apples to orbiting planets, from swirling galaxies to the expansion of the universe.


There's just one hitch, though. And it's a big one.

It is that we've not yet been able to observe about 80% of the matter that the theories of gravity developed by Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein predict should be in galaxies - including our own Milky Way - as well as in the larger cosmos. It simply does not show up in our telescopes.


The fact that 80% of the matter that surrounds us has so far escaped direct detection suggests that it might be something quite exotic and different from the ordinary matter that we are used to.


To try to find this elusive stuff that has been dubbed 'dark matter', CWRU physicists Dan Akerib and Tom Shutt are part of a major collaboration that is building a 300 kilogram particle detector consisting of liquefied xenon, which will operate a mile underground in a former gold mine located in South Dakota. They hope to see if dark matter could possibly consist in the form of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) that could have been produced in the Big Bang.


Will the WIMPs finally show up in South Dakota and reveal their dominant role in the universe? That is the exciting question being explored.







WHERE: The Market Garden Brewery

(Located at 1947 West 25th Street next to the West Side Market, Cleveland, Ohio)


WHEN: October 8, 2012

Drinks at 6:30 pm, discussion starts around 7:00 pm


WHO: Sponsored by Case Western Reserve University chapter of Sigma Xi, WCPN

ideastream, and the Market Garden Brewery



Click here to download a pdf flyer of the event