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Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – Graciela Gelmini
March 26 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
Graciela Gelmini, University of California, Los Angeles
“Status and Outlook of Direct Dark Matter Detection”
What the dark matter, the dominant form of matter in the Universe, consists of is one of the major fundamental open problems in physics, astrophysics and cosmology. This problem has been with us since the 1930’s and although we have made considerable progress, the nature of dark matter remains elusive. After reviewing what we know about dark matter and why we think of new elementary particles as likely constituents of the dark matter, I will concentrate on direct dark matter detection of particle candidates. In particular, I will introduce a new halo-independent analysis method which eliminates the need to make any assumption on the uncertain local dark matter distribution when comparing direct detection data of different experiments and is complementary to the usual data comparison which requires assuming a dark halo model for our galaxy.