Elizabeth Spreadbury Lecture 2018

                    Illuminating the dark: searches for cold dark matter in the Milky Way
                                                        Prof. Laura Baudis

                                                3pm on Wednesday March 14th 2018
                                                                (more details below)

One of the major challenges of modern physics is to decipher the nature of dark matter. Astrophysical observations provide ample evidence for the existence of an invisible and dominant mass component in the observable universe. The dark matter could be made of new, yet undiscovered elementary particles, with allowed masses and interaction strengths with normal matter spanning an enormous range. Weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), which froze out of thermal equilibrium with a relic density matching the observations, represent a well-motivated class of candidates. They could be directly observed via scatters off atomic nuclei in underground, ultra low-background detectors, or indirectly, via secondary radiation produced when they pair annihilate. They could also be generated at particle colliders such as the LHC, where associated particles produced in the same process are to be detected. After an introduction to the dark matter problem and the phenomenology of dark matter detection, I will discuss the most promising direct detection techniques, addressing their current and future science reach, as well as their complementarity. The focus will be on the recent results of the XENON1T experiment, which is acquiring science data at the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory in Italy since November 2016, and on DARWIN, an R&D and design study for a next-generation, multi-ton dark matter detector.

This year's Spreadbury Lecture (the 28th) will be given by Prof. Laura Baudis from the University of Zurich.

The lecture will take place in the Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre at 3pm on Wednesday March 14th 2018. The lecture theatre can be accessed from the entrance to the UCL Union in Gower Court, off Gower Place.

All students are welcome and the lecture will be accessible to undergraduates studying either physics or astrophysics. The event is co-sponsored by the UCL Physics Society.

Following the lecture, refreshments will be served in E3/E7 in the Department of Physics and Astonomy and anyone attending the lecture is most welcome.