New views of universe attracting scientists to Chicago Dec. 9-13

December 02, 2005

Scientists will puzzle over the physics of the beginning of the universe, a mysterious force called dark energy that works against gravity, and many other cosmic mysteries at the University of Chicago's New Views of the Universe symposium Dec. 9 to 13.

More than 200 scientists, students and journalists have registered for the symposium, which will be held from Dec. 9 to 13 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. The meeting will be the inaugural symposium of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago.

The event will honor the memory of the late David Schramm, the University of Chicago cosmologist who pioneered the study of the early universe and invented a new field called particle astrophysics. In this field, scientists study the connections between forces and objects at the largest and smallest scales of the universe.

In the early 1980s, Dave Schramm saw science coming together at two extremes: the very small of elementary particle physics, and the very large of cosmology, said Michael Turner, the Bruce and Diana Rauner Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics. "It was his vision, enthusiasm, energy and passion that pushed this field forward," Turner said.

Schramm died in a twin-engine airplane crash in 1997 at the age of 52. Standing six-foot-three and weighing 230 pounds, Schramm presented an imposing figure both physically and intellectually, becoming one of the world's leading authorities on the big bang theory of the origin of the universe.

On the first day of the New Views symposium, nine of Schramm's colleagues and former students will review his scientific legacy. The day will conclude with a talk by Nobel laureate Leon Lederman at a banquet held at the University of Chicago's new Center for Integrative Science. Schramm and Lederman co-authored From Quarks to the Cosmos: Tools of Discovery, a book for the lay reader that described the new-found relationships between particle physics and cosmology.

In the following days, scientists will present some of their latest ideas about the origin and evolution of the universe, some of which are closely associated with Schramm. Some of his most important work described how the light elements such has hydrogen, helium and lithium were produced by the big bang, which helped establish current thinking about the birth of the universe.

Schramm also performed key calculations showing that ordinary matter, consisting of the familiar protons and neutrons, accounts for only a fraction of the mass of the universe. This prompted him to become an early proponent of the dark matter theory. According to this theory, invisible particles of an unknown nature account for more than 90 percent of all matter in the universe.

"What is dark matter?" was listed as one of 11 science questions for the new century by the National Research Council's Committee on the Physics of the Universe in its 2003 report. The report, titled Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos, was dedicated to Schramm.
The Kavli Institute grew out of the University of Chicago's Center for Cosmological Physics, which was established in 2001. The center was renamed the Kavli Institute in 2004 following a $7.5 million donation from California philanthropist Fred Kavli and the Kavli Foundation. Kavli and the foundation support 10 research institutes worldwide in brain science, nanoscience and cosmology.

Note: Registration fees will be waived for any journalists wishing to attend this symposium.

For more information about the symposium, see

Contact: Steve Koppes 773-702-8366

University of Chicago

Related Dark Matter Articles from Brightsurf:

Dark matter from the depths of the universe
Cataclysmic astrophysical events such as black hole mergers could release energy in unexpected forms.

Seeing dark matter in a new light
A small team of astronomers have found a new way to 'see' the elusive dark matter haloes that surround galaxies, with a new technique 10 times more precise than the previous-best method.

Holding up a mirror to a dark matter discrepancy
The universe's funhouse mirrors are revealing a difference between how dark matter behaves in theory and how it appears to act in reality.

Zooming in on dark matter
Cosmologists have zoomed in on the smallest clumps of dark matter in a virtual universe - which could help us to find the real thing in space.

Looking for dark matter with the universe's coldest material
A study in PRL reports on how researchers at ICFO have built a spinor BEC comagnetometer, an instrument for studying the axion, a hypothetical particle that may explain the mystery of dark matter.

Looking for dark matter
Dark matter is thought to exist as 'clumps' of tiny particles that pass through the earth, temporarily perturbing some fundamental constants.

New technique looks for dark matter traces in dark places
A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan -- published today in the journal Science - concludes that a possible dark matter-related explanation for a mysterious light signature in space is largely ruled out.

Researchers look for dark matter close to home
Eighty-five percent of the universe is composed of dark matter, but we don't know what, exactly, it is.

Galaxy formation simulated without dark matter
For the first time, researchers from the universities of Bonn and Strasbourg have simulated the formation of galaxies in a universe without dark matter.

Taking the temperature of dark matter
Warm, cold, just right? Physicists at UC Davis are using gravitational lensing to take the temperature of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up about a quarter of our universe.

Read More: Dark Matter News and Dark Matter Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to