UW Today

This is an archived article.

August 29, 2003

Leading cosmologist to speak about ‘dark matter’ and mysterious ‘dark energy’ that make up most of the universe

An internationally recognized cosmologist will explain the latest theories about “dark matter” and “dark energy,” the invisible components that scientists say make up most of the universe.

Michael Turner, professor and chairman of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, will speak on “The Dark Side of the Universe: Beyond Stars and the ‘Starstuff’ We Are Made Of.” The lecture is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Kane Hall 120 on the University of Washington campus and is open to the public.

Turner explains that when we look at the sky, there are hundreds of billions of galaxies, all lit up by their stars. But stars account for less than 1 percent of the material in the universe — a new form of matter, invisible or dark matter, holds the galaxies together and makes up about one-third of the material of the universe. “The remaining two-thirds is even more mysterious, a dark energy that is causing the expansion of the universe to speed up.”

The lecture is sponsored by the UW Office of Research and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics as part of the Eighth International Workshop on Topics in Astroparticle and Underground Physics, held at the UW Sept. 5-8.

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For more information, call the UW’s Institute for Nuclear Theory at (206) 685-3360.