Dark Matter Day
Each year the world celebrates the historic hunt for the unseen—something that we refer to as dark matter. Global, regional, and local events are being planned on and around 31 Oct by institutions and individuals looking to engage the public in discussions about what we already know about dark matter and the many present as well as planned experiments seeking to solve its mysteries.
Join us to celebrate on Tuesday 1st November 2022 (7-8.30pm)
Oxford hunts high and low for dark matter!
Join our researchers who explore dark matter on both the cosmic and most fundamental scales for a discussion about how we may solve one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. The event will consist of short online talks, interactive activities followed by a panel discussion and plenty of time for questions from the audience.
So what is dark matter?
Less than 5 percent of the total mass and energy in the universe is the stuff we know about: like stars, planets, galaxies, and gases. Dark matter makes up about 85 percent of the total mass of the universe, and about a quarter (26.8 percent) of the universe’s total mass and energy. Almost 70 percent (68.3 percent) of the universe’s mass and energy is composed of dark energy, another big mystery to scientists that is causing the accelerated expansion of the universe.
Dark matter allows galaxies to spin at a faster-than-expected rate without unraveling and flinging matter off into surrounding space. It could be undiscovered particles swirling around our cosmos or a huge glitch in our understanding of gravity and the fundamental laws of physics—we don’t know. A host of innovative experiments are hunting for the source of dark matter using mile-deep detectors, powerful particle beams, and even space-based telescopes.
So there’s a BIG part of the universe that we don’t know much about. We’re not sure if dark matter is made up of undiscovered particles, or if it can be explained by tweaking the known laws of physics. Its makeup could teach us much about the history and structure of our universe.