Years 12 & 13 find out about Dark Matter Day...

15th November 2022

The universe is over 13.7 billion years old, consisting of hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars. Over the past 200 years our understanding of the universe has greatly improved; from having the Earth at its centre to having no centre at all!  However, in the last 80 years it has become apparent that we understand less than 5% of the universe – the other 95% being made up of dark matter and dark energy.

2On Halloween 2022 events around the world celebrated the hunt for the universe’s unseen dark matter. At Royal Holloway College, University of London, Professor Jocelyn Monroe gave a lecture on this topic to a very fortunate audience, including students in The Forest School’s Y12 and Y13 Physics sets. The images above show the Windsor lecture theatre, some of the slides from the lecture as well as some of the Forest students at the lecture. 3

Professor Moore is a researcher in the Physics department and an expert in novel detectors. In the lecture she described the challenges and opportunities of the current generation of dark matter detectors and reminded us all that in 1897, when JJ Thompson discovered the electron, he had no idea how useful it would become. 4The subsequent invention of the transistor, computers and the ubiquitous mobile phone have all come from this discovery. Who knows what developments the discovery of dark matter may bring?  Perhaps the highlight of the lecture, after an array of expertly answered question from the audience, was the opportunity to ask Professor Moore further questions face-to-face.


Students asked Professor Moore about the possibility of string theory providing the answer to the question of what dark matter is. Her knowledge across a vast tranche of Physics, her ability to answer questions at a level appropriate to the questioners and her obvious enthusiasm for Physics were a joy to behold.

We look forward to the next fascinating lecture.


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