Where are we with dark matter?

Date: 
Monday, September 14, 2015 - 4:15pm
Location: 
Room #1 LeConte Hall
Author/Speaker: 
Affiliation: 
MIT
Public Lecture: 
Yes
Webcast: 

The past few years have held out a great deal of hope for gaining some hint of the nature of the dark matter in our galaxy.  At the energy frontier, we hoped the LHC would create dark matter (and it still might...).  At the cosmic frontier, new nuclear recoil experiments continued to push dark matter detection sensitivity to ever higher levels without a clear signal, while space experiments like Fermi and the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer produced interesting but baffling results.  At the Intensity from frontier, a raft of experiments have probed Dark Forces theories, blotting out much of the allowed parameter space without a clear detection.  Large underground (and under ice) experiments have not made a clear detection while the axion experiments continue to mow down their allowed frequency spectrum.

What should we make of this?  Theorists seem to remain undaunted while experiments approach the limits of feasibility.

Without trying to be comprehensive, the colloquium will describe some of the huge technical advances of the field, give a sense of how things stand at this moment and ponder the possible directions forward in the study of this maddening substance we call Dark Matter.