Physics Colloquium: Gravitational probes of fundamental physics
Kfir Blum, Weizmann
Prof. Yossef Dothan Memorial Lecture
Astrophysical and cosmological observations offer unique perspectives on fundamental physics. Prime examples are the evidence for dark matter as a new sector beyond the Standard Model, and the evidence for nonzero cosmological constant. I will describe attempts to look for clues to the nature of dark matter and to the expansion dynamics of the Universe using gravitational phenomena. A first example is the effort to define a lower bound for the mass of dark matter particles: here, gravity conspires with wave mechanics to yield tell-tale signatures in stellar and gas kinematics. A second example is the attempt to measure the expansion rate of the Universe using gravitational lensing of quasars, which is coupled with novel constraints on the structure of dark matter halos in massive galaxies. Finally, I will discuss dynamical — as opposed to kinematical — probes of dark matter, using observations of globular clusters in ultra-diffuse galaxies.
Event Organizer: Dr. Michael Geller