astrophysics

From The Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast, Feb. 14, 2020: What happened at the dawn of the universe, just trillionths of a second after the start of the big bang, remains a mystery. Revisiting these moments in his new book, “At the Edge of Time,” Fermilab scientist Dan Hooper explores many of the unknowns in cosmology. Hooper guides Ian Sample through the birth of our universe to its enigmatic constituents of dark matter and dark energy in this 22-minute podcast episode.

Reina Reyes made headlines for her research at Princeton testing Einstein’s theory of general relativity; now she’s home in the Philippines, using her physics background to make her mark in different ways.

There are a lot of things scientists don’t know about dark matter: Can we catch it in a detector? Can we make it in a lab? What kinds of particles is it made of? Is it made of more than one kind of particle? Is it even made of particles at all? Still, although scientists have yet to find the spooky stuff, they aren’t completely in the dark.

From Inside Science, Jan. 24, 2020: Some scientists have been poking at the foundations of dark energy, but many say the concept remains on solid, if mysterious, ground. Fermilab scientist Josh Frieman is quoted in this story on the evidence for dark energy.

The first undergraduate on the Event Horizon Telescope to receive junior collaborator status thrives in the unknown. In his nearly two years with the team, he has developed computer libraries for data analysis and modeling, made movies of black holes and assisted with weather prediction.

For the first time, a team of scientists has used the orientation of light left over from the early universe to detect gravitational lensing from galaxy clusters – the bending of light around these massive objects. Using gravitational lensing data taken by the South Pole Telescope and the Dark Energy Camera, Fermilab scientist Brad Benson and colleagues have demonstrated a new way to “weigh” galaxy clusters and ultimately shed light on dark matter, dark energy and other mysteries of the cosmos.

From CNN, Jan. 1, 2020: Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln discusses how Betelgeuse, a star in the constellation Orion and one of the brightest stars in the heavens, has observably dimmed in recent months, a sign that some astronomers interpret as a warning that the star will explode in one of the most powerful and dramatic events in all of the cosmos — a supernova.

From Gizmodo, Dec. 13, 2019: Fermilab scientist Dan Hooper is quoted in this article on a new paper that says dark matter could be responsible for the mysterious observation of gamma rays in the center of our galaxy.