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Science@Cal is proud to present a series of free, public science lectures on the third Saturday of every month. These talks are given by renowned UC Berkeley scientists and aimed at general audiences.
On May 18 our talk was given by Dr. Nader Mirabolfathi and was entitled "Connecting Infinitesimal to Infinity: The Search for Dark Matter".
At the very small scales the Standard Model of Elementary Particles explains the building blocks of the nature and their interactions. Although the model is very successful (e.g. prediction of Higgs Bosons recently discovered at CERN), it is incomplete! A new physics beyond the Standard Model is indeed required to explain some internal problems of this model.
On the other hand at the very large scales our observations of dynamics of galaxies, clusters of galaxies or the Universe as a whole do not match our expectations based on the luminous matter content of the Universe. A new form of matter that doesn't emit or interact with light i.e. dark matter is required to explain our observations.
I will speak about a new class of elementary particles a.k.a Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) to resolve inconsistencies in our understanding of the nature at both extreme large and small scales and how they are connected together. I will also explore the experimental efforts to detect these particles in terrestrial laboratories.
Nader Mirabolfathi trained as an electrical engineer in Iran and earned his PhD in elementary particle physics and cosmology at the University of Paris. He did his postdoctoral studies at UC Berkeley from 2002 to 2004 has been an Associate Research physicist at UC Berkeley since 2008. Dr. Mirabolfathi is currently interested in the direct detection of dark matter using the ultra sensitive detectors at the underground laboratories of Soudan in Minnesota and SNOlab in Ontario, Canada.
You can watch the video of his talk by clicking below:
To sign up for our email list and receive notification about future talks, please visit our mailing list page and enter your email details. We won't sell or give away your email and we won't send you lots of messages.
Talks take place on the UC Berkeley campus at 11am. Doors open thirty minutes before the talk and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Each talk is planned to last an hour, plus time for at least a few questions at the end. We would like to start the talks on time, and avoid disruption from people entering the auditorium during the talks, so please try to arrive at least 10 minutes before the start. Most talks take place in the Genetics and Plant Biology Building, Room 100, on the north-west corner of the UC Berkeley campus (see map or images below), but some do not - please check the calendar below. Limited hourly pay parking is available on weekends on and nearby campus — please check the signs. We encourage you to take public transport — BART and bus lines are within walking distance. We also record the talks and post them on this site (click on the speaker names for previous months below). If you're nearby though we encourage you to come to the talks in person!
Left: Genetics and Plant Biology Building
Right: Lecture Theater Entrance
|Jan 19||100 GPB||Dr. Mark Lescroart||The Shape of Our Thoughts (Visual Perception of Geometric Shape)|
|Feb 16||105 Stanley||Prof. John Dueber|
Synthetic Biology: Engineering Living Cells with New Capabilities
|Mar 16||100 GPB||Dr. Máté Ádámkovics||Cloudspotting at Saturn and Titan: Learning About Weather from a Billion Miles Away|
|Apr 20||UC Berkeley||Cal Day||UC Berkeley's Open House|
|May 18||100 GPB||Dr. Nader Mirabolfathi||Connecting Infinitesimal to Infinity: The Search for Dark Matter|
|Jun 15||100 GPB||Prof. Mariska Kriek||TBA|
|Jul 20||145 Dwinelle||TBA|
|145 Dwinelle|| |
Dr. Gregory Delory
|Mars exploration (title TBA)|
|Sep 21||100 GPB||Prof. Gibor Basri||NASA's Kepler Mission: The Search for Earth 2|
|Oct 19||100 GPB||TBA||TBA|
|Nov 16||100 GPB|| |
|Dec 21||100 GPB||TBA||TBA|
You can watch the videos of previous talks in the series by clicking on the talk titles below:
|June 18, 2012 - 3:11am||Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Runaway Universe|
|May 23, 2012 - 5:43pm||Water and Ash: A Photographic Exploration of Patagonia's Wetlands and Volcanoes|
|April 27, 2012 - 12:30pm||Reconciling Science and the Imagination in the Construction of the Deep Prehistoric Past|
|March 19, 2012 - 11:15am||Cal Day Open House|
|February 18, 2012 - 4:03pm||The Sun: A Star in Our Own Backyard|
|January 30, 2012 - 12:07pm||Single-celled Microbes in Polar Ice: A Proxy for Evolution over 100 Million Generations|
|December 19, 2011 - 3:37pm||The Quest for the Higgs Boson at Large Hadron Collider|
|November 22, 2011 - 8:02pm||Shedding Light on the Dark Side of the Universe|
|October 29, 2011 - 8:15pm||From Gas into Galaxies: Just Add Gravity!|
|September 27, 2011 - 4:20am||Tectonic Timebombs: Earthquakes Near and Far|
You can also check out the video of "The Great Debate: Are We Alone?" with Geoff Marcy and Dan Werthimer discussing the existence of intelligent life in our Galaxy, and a lecture by Geoff Marcy on the "Discovery of the First Earth-Size Planets and Prospects for Life in the Universe". Thanks to Chris Klein, Andrew Siemion, and James Anderson for producing these videos.
Videos from UC Berkeley's Cal Day open house are also available. You can see Raphael Bousso talk about "Black Holes, Information, and the Quest for a Unified Theory of Nature", or Adrian Lee talk about "The Microwave Background: A Cosmic Time Machine".
The Science@Cal lecture series was preceded by a 2009 lecture series presented by the Department of Astronomy as part of the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. To see videos of these talks, visit the astronomy lecture series website.