Skip to main content

Astronomy Speaker's Night: "A Search for Dark Matter in the Cosmic Web"

Speaker: Dr. Keir Rogers

Description: Visit a unique historical site in Richmond Hill and experience an engaging presentation led by experts and researchers in astronomy, covering a variety of exciting astronomy topics. After the presentation, participants will tour the observatory and see a demonstration of the 74” telescope pointed to an interesting celestial object for the visitors to view (Weather Dependent). Please wear / bring appropriate supplies for being outside. A registered adult must accompany all registered participants under the age of 16. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the program start time in order to be signed in. This program runs rain or shine.

Abstract: The fact that we cannot directly see four-fifths of the Universe's mass -- dark matter -- has baffled astronomers for a century. For the last half-century, the leading theory has been that there is a new, as-yet-undiscovered zoo of massive but weakly interacting particles called WIMPs. Billion-dollar experiments like the Large Hadron Collider were built to detect these particles. Despite the triumph of the Higgs boson discovery, the WIMP so far proves elusive. This has led to a paradigm shift in the search for dark matter. Dr. Rogers will discuss the consequences of this shift and the extraordinary yet compelling idea that dark matter is made of extremely light and "fuzzy" particles called axions that have wavelengths the size of the Universe. He will present state-of-the-art research searching for axions in the complex network of galaxies and inter-galactic gas that forms the cosmic web.

Speaker bio: Dr. Rogers is a Dunlap Fellow at the University of Toronto, where his research tackles the search for elusive dark matter using observations of the cosmic web and the relic radiation from the Big Bang. He develops machine learning tools to make more powerful use of the data that we collect. Dr. Rogers grew up in the Ancient Roman capital of Britain, Colchester, where his love of human and cosmic history was kindled. He was educated at the University of Oxford and the University of London, before taking up research fellowships in the northerly cities of Stockholm, Sweden, and, latterly, Toronto.

Who can attend: Everyone


- up to 14 years old : $15.69

- 15 or more years old : $17.72

Registration: ActiveRH

Location: David Dunlap Observatory

Organized by: RASC, Toronto Centre