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The Hunt for Dark Matter in the Universe

Part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series


October 14, 2020

7 p.m.


Archive Story


Astronomers today understand that the universe is full of a mysterious substance they call "dark matter" (because it doesn't give off any light or other radiation we can detect.) Dr. Shutt will discuss the motivation behind the multi-decade, world-wide effort to test the idea that dark matter is in the form of particles as small as a neutrino but as heavy as an atom. He will describe the experiment he is involved with, that uses 7 tons of liquefied Xenon to measure how these particles interact with normal matter. This LUX-ZEPLIN Experiment will begin taking data shortly and should provide the most sensitive test yet for this elusive ingredient of the universe.

Dr. Tom Shutt is a professor of particle physics and particle astrophysics at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He has spent most of his career doing experiments to search for dark matter, and has specialized in the development of instruments. He was co-founder of the LUX Experiment, and founding spokesperson of the LUX-ZEPLIN Experiment.

The lecture is co-sponsored by:

* The Foothill College Physical Science Division

* The SETI Institute

* The Astronomical Society of the Pacific

* The University of California Observatories (including Lick Observatory).

Past lectures in the series can be found on YouTube at