The Shorthorn: SMU’s Jodi Cooley sheds light on dark matter

Science students at the University of Texas at Arlington gathered Wednesday for a talk by SMU physicist Jodi Cooley about her work as part of a scientific team searching for dark matter. Cooley, an assistant professor in the SMU Department of Physics, is an experimental particle physicist and is part of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search. Her talk at the university was covered by The Shorthorn, the university’s newspaper.

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EXCERPT:

By Russell Kirby
The Shorthorn Staff
Jodi Cooley, physics assistant professor from Southern Methodist University, spoke about the way her team of researchers is attempting to detect dark matter to an audience of about 30 students and faculty.

Physics assistant professor Chris Jackson, who invited Cooley to speak, said her eight years of involvement with the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search and time as a spokeswoman for the search experiments makes her an expert on the subject.

“I like to solve interesting problems,” Cooley said. “To me, one of the most interesting puzzles is that 85 percent of matter in the universe is missing. We’re trying to figure it out, but it’s a hard problem.”

Cooley presented analysis from data released last spring and explained the variety of potential improvements that would contribute to the development of this data and ultimately the detection of dark matter. The overall hype of the subject inspired questions from professors.

Among them was a question from physics professor Zdzislaw Musielak, who asked how the accuracy of Cooley’s graphs improved over time. Cooley said the testing equipment became more accurate and thus the results were more accurate.

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SMU has an uplink facility on campus for live TV, radio or online interviews. To speak with an SMU expert or to book them in the SMU studio, call SMU News & Communications at 214-768-7650 or UT Dallas Office of Media Relations at 972-883-4321.

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