Oct. 26th, 2018 – Illuminating Dark Matter and Galaxies Across Time

Grounds for Science


with Micah Brush and Wren Suess

Friday, October 26th, 2018 at 6:30 PM at Scarlet City Espresso Bar

Illuminating Dark Matter

Dark matter is weird. It constitutes about 85% of the total matter in the universe, yet we know almost nothing else about it. Why are we so sure it exists, if we can’t even see it directly? And is there any hope of finding it? Let’s discuss some of the strongest evidence for dark matter and some of the ways that we are currently trying to directly determine its identity.

Credit: Micah Brush

Micah Brush

Micah Brush is a graduate student working towards a PhD in Physics at Berkeley. He first developed an interest for scientific research during his undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, before moving to Cambridge, England for a year to study math. He is currently working on theoretical models in ecology with Prof. John Harte, but did research at the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics before that. When he’s not teaching or doing research, he enjoys cooking and baking, singing, and hiking.

Galaxies Across Time

When we look out at an object in the night sky, how do we figure out what we’re looking at? How do we know how far away it is, and what it’s made of? How do we use pictures of it to learn about our universe? In this talk, Wren will talk about how human understanding of what galaxies are has changed over the past few centuries, what our modern definition of a galaxy is, and what astronomers have learned from studying how galaxies change and evolve over cosmic time.
Galaxy formation

ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Spiral Galaxy Messier 66

Wren Suess

Wren Suess is a 4th-year graduate student in the Berkeley Astronomy Department studying galaxy formation and evolution. Before moving to Berkeley, she grew up in North Carolina then did an undergraduate degree in physics in Boulder, Colorado. Most of her time at work is spent trying to understand how and why galaxies stop forming stars, quantifying the sizes of galaxies, and debugging code. Most of her time outside of work is spent rock climbing, backpacking, brewing beer, baking bread, and reading sci-fi.

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