cosmology

Scientists in Latin America recently published the first coordinated plan for the region’s research in high-energy physics, astrophysics and cosmology. Fermilab scientist Marcela Carena was part of the group that collected input for the report. Here, she weighs in its significance.

From Forbes, Feb. 10, 2021: Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln explains why there should be equal amounts of matter and antimatter in the universe. There aren’t. He discusses several current theories that try to explain the discrepancy. Better understanding this imbalance is an aim of ongoing experiments, such as DUNE, which is being built at Fermilab.

The Big Bang is the currently accepted theory for the origin of the universe. However, there are some who point to the existence of a very old star, called the Methuselah star, which is said to be even older. If that were true, this would imply that the Big Bang theory is wrong. In this 9-minute video, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln explains how the Methuselah Star relates to the Big Bang.

From Super Interessante, Jan. 31, 2021: A team of researchers from Fermilab and the National Observatory in Brazil used the light of solitary stars to calculate the mass of some of the largest structures in the cosmos — galaxy clusters. In addition to taking the most detailed measurement ever published of intracluster light, the team’s new method of measurement can help further investigate dark matter.

From New Scientist, Jan. 25, 2021: The Big Bang left us the universe — and a major set of mysteries around antimatter, dark matter, dark energy, and cosmic inflation. While the Large Hadron Collider looks at what the laws of physics were like a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, Dan Hooper, head of theoretical astrophysics at Fermilab, thinks the answers to these puzzles may depend on better understanding that first fraction of a second — even closer to the universe’s beginning.

Faint light from rogue stars not bound to galaxies has been something of a mystery to scientists. The dimness of this intracluster light makes it difficult to measure, and no one knows how much there is. Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, led by Fermilab, have made the most radially extended measurement of this light ever and have found new evidence that its distribution might point to the distribution of dark matter.

From Forbes, Jan. 14, 2021: The Dark Energy Survey recently publicly released an enormous amount of data for anyone to use. This data set contains nearly seven hundred million individual astronomical objects. Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln explains how collaborators on the Dark Energy Survey study the history of the universe and highlights a number of the scientific findings in DES’s rich trove of data.