C2ST Speakeasy with Dr. Ritoban Basu Thakur
"Dark Matter--The Dark Path to our Being" with Dr. Ritoban Basu Thakur
Everything we see today, our precious atoms and molecules, got here by traveling on swaths of dark matter. From the oscillations of the hot plasma of the primordial universe, to the formation and dynamics of modern galaxies, dark matter plays a necessary role. The very construct in which we sit is defined by its abundance. Our universe’s evolution is controlled tightly by a cosmic tug-of-war between dark matter and dark energy. Thus understanding dark matter is not only important to explain the past and the present, but also the future trajectory of our universe. It has been over 80 years since its discovery, and we have yet to “see” dark matter directly. This talk will discuss how we came to know about dark matter and the multitude of concordant observations. Next, we will discuss our best ideas regarding the nature of dark matter and detection strategies being pursued world-wide.
Dr. Ritoban Basu Thakur is an experimental cosmologist at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP), at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on understanding early universe physics by precise measurements of the cosmic microwave background, and progressing experimental techniques toward terrestrial detection of dark matter. To this end, he is developing novel detectors and analyzing observational data collected via these detectors. Dr. Basu Thakur obtained his PhD in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. The crux of his PhD research, on dark matter, was carried out at the Fermilab Center for Particle Atrophysics. He was URA fellow and graduate student association officer at Fermilab. He got his B.S. in Physics, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa (liberal arts and sciences) from Dickinson College.