The Dark Side Of The Universe

For all we understand about the universe, 96% of what’s out there still has scientists in the dark. Astronomical observations have established that familiar matter—atoms—accounts for only 4% of the weight of the cosmos. The rest—dark matter and dark energy—is invisible to our telescopes. But what really is this dark stuff? How do we know it’s there? And what does it do? From the formation of galaxies to the farthest reaches of space, it appears that darkness rules. Without dark matter and dark energy, the universe today and in the far future would be a completely different place. We were joined by leading researchers who smash together particles, dive into underground mines, and explore the edges of the known universe in search of clues to nature’s dark side.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

The World Science Festival gathers great minds in science and the arts to produce live and digital content that allows a broad general audience to engage with scientific discoveries. Our mission is to cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future.

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Original Program Date: June 2, 2011
MODERATOR: John Hockenberry
PARTICIPANTS: Brian Greene, Glennys Farrar, Katherine Freese, Michael Turner, Saul Perlmutter, Elena Aprile, MOMIX

Brian Greene’s introduction on dark matter. 00:22

What we don,t see by MOMIX 07:00

John Hockenberry’s Introduction. 16:17

Participant Introductions 21:05

Why do we know that there is dark matter? 25:10

The lensing effect that reveals dark matter. 31:33

A computer simulation of what dark matter was doing as the universe was expanding. 37:11

Capturing Wimps with the XENON100. 41:40

What the XENON100 detector looks like. 48:20

Where do we go to find events that prove dark matter exists? 56:18

If lensing is correct, could that determine an unknown force? 01:00:43

Supersymmetry vs Another Universal Brane. 01:09:20

Using a supernova to detect Dark Matter. 01:15:40

How does a supernova tell you about dark matter? 01:21:20

How did Einstein predict that dark energy existed? 01:26:18

What is the counter explanation of dark energy? 01:30:40

The ratio of dark energy makes a perfect environment for life. 01:35:30
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