Dr. Sven Vahsen
Department of Physics & Astronomy: UH Mānoa
Dark Matter in the Universe:
What is it and how can we learn more?
Dark matter is exciting because it links cosmology and elementary particle physics – the study of the Universe as a whole and the study of its fundamental building blocks. Dark matter constitutes the majority of mass in the Universe, but we do not yet understand it in a fundamental way. Dark matter may consist of new types of elementary particles, which were mass-produced in the early Universe, and survived until today. I will provide a gentle introduction to particle physics and dark matter, discuss how can we can experimentally test the particle-dark-matter hypothesis, and introduce my pet project to build a directional dark matter detector.
Sven Vahsen is an Associate Professor in the UH Department of Physics and Astronomy. He obtained his PhD in Physics from Princeton University, then worked on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and came to UH in 2010. He currently works on the Belle II particle accelerator experiment in Japan and develops new detectors of elementary particles.