Lecture: 17 June “….The Outlandish Quest for Dark Matter” by Maria Elena Monzani, SLAC

17 June 2020, Wednesday, Live-streamed via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook

“A Sparkle in the Dark: The Outlandish Quest for Dark Matter”



Maria Elena Monzani, PhD, SLAC

The nature and origin of dark matter are among the most compelling mysteries of contemporary science. There is strong evidence for dark matter from its role in shaping the galaxies and galaxy clusters that we observe in the universe. Still, for over three decades, physicists have been trying to detect the dark matter particles themselves with little success. This talk will describe the next stage in that search, the LZ detector. LZ is an instrument that is superlative in many ways. It consists of 10 tons of liquified xenon gas, maintained at almost atomic purity and stored in a refrigerated titanium cylinder a mile underground in a former gold mine in Lead, South Dakota. The talk will present some of the challenges in constructing and operating this large-scale underground experiment and the prospects LZ presents for finally discovering the dark matter particle.  

Brief Bio

Maria Elena Monzani received her PhD from University of Milano and University of Paris 7. Her research field is astroparticle physics, which focuses on topics at the intersection between particle physics and astrophysics/cosmology. Her PhD research was on the Borexino experiment that measured neutrinos produced by the Sun. She then held a postdoctoral position at Columbia University before joining SLAC in 2007 to work on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Today Monzani is a member of the SLAC scientific staff. She leads the software computing effort for the LZ Dark Matter Experiment and the Science Operations Team for the Fermi satellite.

How to Attend

To attend the virtual meeting “live” with the opportunity to ask questions:

  • Connect by 7:30pm on June 17th by clicking this Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/6899695909?pwd=dk5pNVNhYXg3Y2w5Nk5QVkQvRHlVZz09
  • Clicking the link may prompt you to install the Zoom virtual meeting app. Once installed, you will be able to join the meeting.  If the app is already installed on your device, simply enter the meeting number 6899695909 and password SFAALEC to join the meeting.
  • Once joined, you can test your audio and video, and greet other members.
  • Board members will join the meeting early to help troubleshoot any problems with audio or video. 
  • Club and welcome announcements will begin at 7:45pm and the lecture will start promptly at 8:00pm.

Alternatively, please visit the following channels to attend the live stream:

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