15 August 2017, Tuesday, 7:45 PM, Presidio Officers’ Club
“Unveiling the Dark Universe: A Tale of Fish Tanks, Wine Glasses, and the Smallest Dark Matter Clumps”
Yashar Hezaveh, Stanford, Kavli Institute
What is “dark matter”? This is a question that has preoccupied astrophysicists for many decades. Observations show that 80% of the matter in our universe is in this mysterious, invisible form. In this talk, Dr. Hezaveh discusses how ALMA, the world’s most sophisticated radio telescope, is used to observe some of the most distant galaxies of our universe to learn new things about dark matter. On their 12 billion light year journey to us, light rays from these galaxies pass near other galaxies. As this happens, the dark matter halos of the intervening galaxies, large and small, bend their trajectories, causing the images here on the Earth to look distorted, like images in a funhouse mirror.
Yashar Hezaveh is a Hubble Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University. His research is primarily centered on strong gravitational lensing of high redshift, dusty galaxies, with a special focus on mapping the detailed distribution of dark matter on small scales in lensing halos. Understanding the small scale distribution of dark matter can give us invaluable clues to the nature of dark matter. Prior to coming to Stanford, he completed his PhD at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and his honours in physics and astronomy at University of Victoria (Victoria, Canada).