Particle-like Dark Matter: When All Other Lights Go Out

Jun 05, 2023 - 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 200 and online

Dr. Jelle Aalbers (KIPAC/Stanford)

 Particle-like dark matter: When all other lights go out 

Deep in underground laboratories sit some of humanity’s most sensitive detectors. Their purpose is to discover dark matter, an unknown substance that makes up ~80% of the mass in our universe, but whose nature remains shrouded in mystery. New particles with extremely weak interactions have been proposed as natural candidates for dark matter, and physicists are actively building detectors to search for them. In this lecture, Dr. Jelle Aalbers will discuss efforts to build and operate large detectors that search for rare small light flashes from dark matter particles bouncing off of regular atoms. He will present what we have learned so far from these experiments, including preliminary results from the LUX-ZEPLIN experiment, a dark matter detector filled with 7 tons of liquid xenon in a South Dakota gold mine.

Jelle Aalbers

About the Speaker

Dr. Jelle Aalbers is a Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow at KIPAC/Stanford, where he searches for dark matter with the LUX-ZEPLIN experiment and develops statistical and machine learning analysis techniques for other dark matter searches. Jelle received his PhD in astroparticle physics from the University of Amsterdam, and was a postdoctoral researcher at Stockholm University before moving to Stanford. At both institutions, he performed data analysis for XENON1T, an earlier dark matter search experiment. Before his PhD, Jelle studied in Utrecht in Netherland and Cambridge in the UK, and was a high school physics teacher in the Netherlands. This fall, Jelle will be joining the University of Groningen as an assistant professor.

Directions and Parking

This event will take place in the Hewlett Teaching Center (370 Jane Stanford Way) on the Stanford campus. Upon arrival, please check in in the foyer of the building and follow signs for Room 200.

The closest visitor parking is in the Via Ortega Garage and along the Stanford Oval. All parking is free in spaces marked Visitor, A, or C after 4pm unless indicated otherwise. Accessible parking is also available along the Stanford Oval.

If you plan to take public transportation, some lines of the Marguerite Shuttle connect between the Palo Alto Transit Center and the campus. You can get to the Hewlett Teaching Center by taking Line P (drops off at the Stanford Oval), Line X (drops off at the ChEM-H Building on Jane Stanford Way), and Line Y (picks up across from the ChEM-H Building on Jane Stanford Way). A complete list of shuttle schedules and route maps can be found here.