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The Dark Matter of a Cosmic Collision

Student-Run Applied & Math Seminar

Speaker: William Dawson, UC Davis Cosmology Group
Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Wed, Feb 29 2012, 12:10PM

Dark matter makes up roughly 85% of the mass in the universe yet it is still a mystery, however our recent research is beginning to shed light on the properties of dark matter. I will present our investigation of a cosmic collision involving two galaxy clusters. Galaxy clusters are the largest stable structures in the universe and have a mass composition of ~85% dark matter, ~13% hot gas, and ~2% galaxies. The collisions of galaxy clusters are the most energetic events since the Big Bang and provide a unique dissection of the cosmos, separating the dark matter, hot gas, and galaxies. I will discuss how we survey the three mass components and use these observations to constrain the properties of dark matter.