Mariangela Lisanti, Ph.D. Associate Research Scientist, Cosmology, CCA, Flatiron Institute
Associate Professor, Physics, Princeton University
Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite those interested in the topic to join us for this weekly lecture series.
The vast majority of matter is invisible to us. The gravitational effects of this ‘dark matter’ play a critical role in explaining the cosmological evolution of the universe and the large-scale distribution of galaxies. Despite this overwhelming evidence, much about the dark matter particle remains a mystery to us, including fundamental properties such as its mass and spin. If the dark matter is ultralight, it can be treated as a classical wave with a macroscopic wavelength. Such wave-like dark matter arises generically in well-motivated extensions to the Standard Model of particle physics.
In this talk, Mariangela Lisanti will explore how such dark matter particles affect the universe’s evolution from its birth to the present day, highlighting how their wave-like nature imprints on the internal dynamics of galaxies and on compact objects like black holes. Her journey with the audience will ultimately arrive at Earth, where an extensive experimental effort is underway to directly discover these elusive particles in the laboratory.