Dark Matter Day at SMU

This animation depicts what evidence says happened when two collections of galaxies collided. The dark matter (blue) interacts so little that it passes through the collision, but the hot gas (red) gets slowed. The result is the "Bullet Cluster". Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
This animation depicts the formation of large structures filled with millions of galaxies, all clumping in places where dark matter was slightly denser. Dark matter has been essential to the formation of the largest structures in the universe. Animation from cosmicweb.uchicago.edu/.
The edges of galaxies rotate at speeds that should not be possible. Our own earth is located in a spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy that should have separated from the core a long time ago, given its speed. Dark matter appears to prevent galaxies from flying apart, allowing them to grow very large. From Willem van Bremen.
Researchers from all over the world are working every day to enable the discovery of dark matter's nature. At SMU, undergraduate and graduate students play a critical role in advancing this scientific goal. Learn more from smuresearch.com.

Dark Matter Day is an international day designated to help inform the world about the importance of learning more about dark matter, and about the many ways scientists are trying to solve dark matter’s mysteries. To learn more about the organization of this day, see darkmatterday.org.


At SMU, Dedman College and the Department of Physics will mark Dark Matter Day with a series of three events:

October 29 at 4pm in McCord Auditorium

Marusa Bradac, Associate Professor at UC Davis, will give a public lecture on Dark Matter. A reception will follow the lecture from 5-6pm in the Dallas Hall Rotunda with beverages and light snacks. This event is free and open to the public, and is designed to be open to the widest possible audience.

Please RSVP by October 27. RSVP NOW

October 30 at 4pm in Fondren Science Building Room 158

SMU Associate Professor Jodi Cooley will present a seminar on the SuperCDMS direct-detection dark matter search experiment.

This event is part of the Physics Department Speaker Series. While this event is open to the public, it will be a more technical talk and may appeal more to a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) audience, especially those with interests in physics and astrophysics.

Professor Cooley is our resident dark matter hunter. She is part of the 100-person international SuperCDMS-SNOLAB experiment, which uses ultra pure materials and highly sensitive custom-build detectors to listen for the passage of dark matter.

October 31 from 9am-4pm on the SMU Campus: Dark Matter Rock Hunt

The Department of Physics has hidden "Dark Matter Rocks" all across the SMU campus. If you discover one of the dark matter rocks, bring it to Fondren Science Building 102 (the Physics Main Office) and get a special prize. All SMU students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome to join in the search.

In the spirit of science being a pursuit open to all, we are excited to welcome all members of the SMU family to become dark matter hunters for a day. Explore your campus in the search for dark matter rocks, just as physicists are exploring the cosmos in the hunt for the nature of dark matter itself.

Learn More about Dark Matter

Too excited to wait for Oct. 29-31? Get a head start on learning about Dark Matter using the resources below!

Professor Jodi Cooley Explains Why Understanding Dark Matter Is Important

Jodi Cooley and Alex Drlica-Wagner talk about The Case of the Missing Matter

PhD Comics presents "What is Dark Matter?"