Speaker: Dr. Maruša Bradač
Professor of Astronomy and Physics
Topic: Bullet Galaxies and Dark Matter
TIME: 8:00pm November 7th, 2014
WHERE: The CSM Planetarium Bldg 36, Parking Lot 5
. Free and open to the public
Among the most important questions facing science right now is that of the history of our Universe and its future. To answer the question of the fate of the Universe we need to know what the Universe is made of. The evidence that the normal matter is only a minor component has been increasing since the 1930s, and astronomers today have established the fact that dark matter and dark energy are 25 times more abundant than everything we have ever detected and seen here on Earth (including you and me). But what is dark matter? What are its physical properties? How does it translate into the particle physics model? What is dark energy? The simple answer is that we still don't know. Because it is dark, dark matter has been notoriously hard to detect; it doesn't emit or reflect radiation such as light or heat, and it can have only the feeblest of interactions with itself and ordinary matter. So how do we know it is there? In this talk, Marusa will discuss how astronomers observe the invisible matter in one of the true gems on the sky: a giant cluster of galaxies.
Originally from Slovenia, Maruša is now a physics professor at UC Davis. Her research includes studying the composition of the Universe, her specialty being properties of dark matter, the elusive “stuff” that makes up a quarter of the universe. Increasingly popular in the media especially with the excitement of the latest discoveries about the Universe’s past. Maruša also studies ﬁrst galaxies that formed in the Universe. The tools of her trade are telescopes in space (Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope) and on the ground in Hawaii (Keck). Maruša uniquely combines her passion for the Universe with her outdoor loves of skiing, surﬁng and mountain biking. She is passionate about her research and is committed to provide the best possible education for her students. The one thing that excites her even more than her own research and the outdoors is seeing young and bright minds excited about the world around them.