Episode 001: Through a Cosmic Lens Darkly

Hosts: Professor Stephen Sekula and SMU undergraduate Jason South.

Listen now! Mustang Physics, November 2010 audio

We discuss Jason’s work with the top quark, and welcome our special guest Professor Marusa Bradac (University of California-Davis) for a discussion of dark matter, the unseen 85% of the matter in the universe.

Professor Stephen Sekula
SMU Undergraduate Jason South 

Professor Marusa Bradac (University of California-Davis)
(Photo courtesy of Marusa Bradac)

Marusa is a Professor of Physics at the University of California-Davis. She presented the Lightner Colloquium in the SMU Department of Physics in the Spring of 2010, where she spoke about her work using the gravity from thousands of galaxies (“galaxy clusters”) to detect the presence of unseen dark matter. We sat down with her and discussed her research, its future directions, and her life outside of her research.


  • Marusa Bradac’s professional homepage: http://www.physics.ucdavis.edu/~marusa/
  • Publications related to the Bullet Cluster and dark matter
    • Douglas Clowe, Marusa Bradac, Anthony H. Gonzalez, Maxim Markevitch, Scott W. Randall, Christine Jones, and Dennis Zaritsky. A Direct Empirical Proof of the Existence of Dark Matter. Astrophys.J. 648:109-113, 2006.
    • M. Bradac, T. Treu, D. Applegate, A.H. Gonzalez, D. Clowe, W. Forman, C. Jones, P. Marshall, P. Schneider, D. Zaritsky. Focusing Cosmic Telescopes: Exploring Redshift z~5-6 Galaxies with the Bullet Cluster 1E0657-56. Astrophys.J.706:1201-1212, 2009.
  • Other public information about lensing, the Bullet Cluster, etc.
  • Credits:
    • Produced by Kathleen Tibbetts
    • Theme music written by Jason South and performed by Jason South and Stephen Sekula.

About Stephen Sekula

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