Friday, April 11, 2008
Joel Primack gives the Buhl lecture on "A Brief History of Dark Matter"
Joel Primack, an initiator and developer of the theory of cold dark matter, will deliver the annual Buhl Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University. Primack will give his talk, "A Brief History of Dark Matter," at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 22 at the Mellon Institute Auditorium, 4400 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The lecture is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception in the Mellon Institute lobby.
Although the first evidence for dark matter was discovered in the 1930s, it was early in the 1980s that most astronomers became convinced that most of the mass holding galaxies and clusters of galaxies together is invisible. For two decades, theories were proposed and challenged, but it wasn't until the beginning of the 21st century that the "double dark" standard cosmological model was accepted. The model establishes that matter different from that which makes up the planets, stars and even humankind, called cold dark matter, plus dark energy make up 95 percent of the universe.
Primack will discus the history of dark matter and address the challenges of understanding the underlying physics of the particles that make up dark matter and the nature of dark energy. The lecture will include astronomical videos.
Primack is a professor of physics at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has recently chaired the APS Forum on Physics and Society, as well as the AAAS Committee of Science, Ethics and Religion, and served on the recent "Beyond Einstein" study of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Buhl Lecture is sponsored by Carnegie Mellon's Department of Physics. The lecture is funded under the auspices of the Buhl Professorship in Theoretical Physics, which was established at Carnegie Mellon in 1961 by The Buhl Foundation. The professorship was created to support outstanding theoretical scientists who would both impact the theoretical research and help establish direction for experimental investigations.