Dark Matter Day

31 Oct 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:45pm
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
General public (Age 12+)

Booking: Recommended, please see below


On October 31, 2017, the world will celebrate the historic hunt for the unseen—something that we refer to as dark matter. Global, regional, and local events are being planned on and around that date by institutions and individuals looking to engage the public in discussions about what we already know about dark matter and the many present as well as planned experiments seeking to solve its mysteries.

Less than 5 percent of the total mass and energy in the universe is the stuff we know about: like stars, planets, galaxies, and gases. Dark matter makes up about 85 percent of the total mass of the universe, and about a quarter (26.8 percent) of the universe’s total mass and energy. Almost 70 percent (68.3 percent) of the universe’s mass and energy is composed of dark energy, another big mystery to scientists that is causing the accelerated expansion of the universe.

Dark matter allows galaxies to spin at a faster-than-expected rate without unraveling and flinging matter off into surrounding space. It could be undiscovered particles swirling around our cosmos or a huge glitch in our understanding of gravity and the fundamental laws of physics—we don’t know. A host of innovative experiments are hunting for the source of dark matter using mile-deep detectors, powerful particle beams, and even space-based telescopes.

So there’s a BIG part of the universe that we don’t know much about. We’re not sure if dark matter is made up of undiscovered particles, or if it can be explained by tweaking the known laws of physics. Its makeup could teach us much about the history and structure of our universe.

Link to the Dark Matter Day website: https://www.darkmatterday.com/

Join us at Oxford Physics

Join our researchers who explore dark matter on both the cosmic and most fundamental scales for a discussion about how we may solve one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. The event will consist of four short talks followed by a panel discussion and plenty of time for questions from the audience.

Confirmed speakers

Professor Alan Barr


Professor Alan Barr’s group at Oxford are world leaders in the search for Dark Matter particles, with particular responsibility for choosing which of the billion collisions per second at the Large Hadron Collider might hold the key to discovery.

Theresa Fruth

Theresa-254x300 (2).jpg

Theresa is a second year DPhil research student working on LZ, a next generation Dark Matter direct detection experiment: https://users.physics.ox.ac.uk/~kraus/research/

Dr Sam Henry


Sam’s research is focussed on building instrumentation for experiments in particle physics and astroparticle physics. He has worked on dark matter searches, searching for particle dark matter using cryogenic detectors operating at millikelvin temperatures.

Kathryn Boast


Kathryn Boast is coming to the end of her graduate studies at Oxford. She was involved in planning and building LZ, the most sensitive dark matter experiment yet.

Dr Elisa Chisari


Elisa is a post-doctual researcher and studies tides across the Universe that change the shapes and orientations of galaxies.

For more information contact: 

Booking: Recommended, please complete the following form: http://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/my-forms/booking-for-dark-matter-day
Email: public.events@physics.ox.ac.uk
Twitter: @oxfordphysics #darkmatterday