particle physics

SMU to host international particle physics workshop April 27-May 1, 2015

DIS 2015 Dallas Hall oculus-splash logoMore than 300 of the world’s leading experts on particle physics are about to converge on Dallas for one of the discipline’s most important annual gatherings. The 2015 International Workshop on Deep-Inelastic Scattering and Related Subjects (DIS), held annually in a world-class city, will be hosted by SMU April 27-May 1, 2015,

A public panel will kick off the workshop week on Sunday, April 26. Steve Sekula, SMU assistant professor of physics, will host fellow physicists Joe Izen of UT-Dallas, Pat Skubic of the University of Oklahoma and Chris Jackson of UT-Arlington for “If the Universe is the Answer…What is the Question?” at 6:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information and parking directions, contact the Department of Physics, 214-768-2495.

> Follow the conference on Twitter: #DIS2015

SMU physicists are active in several major international scientific consortia on particle physics experiments, including one of the most notable – the Large Hadron Collider. The 23rd annual DIS workshop brings these scientists together to discuss both the results from current experiments and the theoretical advances that will guide the future.

> Learn more at the DIS 2015 homepage:

Research Spotlight: Glimpse of light in search for dark matter?

Accelerator photoA group of experimental particle physicists have reported in the latest issue of the journal Science that they cannot rule out that they may have seen a glimpse of dark matter.

Physicists have been searching for dark matter – the substance that makes up most of the matter in the universe – for decades. Jodi Cooley, an assistant professor of experimental particle physics in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, is a member of the collaboration on the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS II) experiment.

The experiment is located deep in the Soudan Underground Laboratory in an abandoned mine in a national park in Minnesota.

BBC News reported on the published results in “Study hints at dark matter action,” written by BBC science reporter Doreen Walton and published to the BBC News website Feb. 11, 2010.

Cooley, quoted in the BBC article, said, “Either we had a statistical fluctuation in our background or it could be that these two events are evidence of dark matter but there weren’t enough of them to be sure.”

The scientific findings were published in the journal Science on Feb. 11, “Dark Matter Search Results from the CDMS II Experiment.”

Cooley and her colleagues earlier announced the groundbreaking CDMS findings at dual press conferences on Dec. 17. The team, known as the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search, hosted simultaneous talks by Cooley at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) National Accelerator Laboratory in California and by Lauren Hsu of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois.

Read more from the SMU Research blog

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