Patricia Burchat: The search for dark energy and dark matter 
Patricia Burchat: The search for dark energy and dark matter by TED
Video Lecture 6 of 7
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Date Added: July 26, 2009

Lecture Description

February 2008

About this talk

Physicist Patricia Burchat sheds light on two basic ingredients of our universe: dark matter and dark energy. Comprising 96% of the universe between them, they can't be directly measured, but their influence is immense.

Patricia Burchat: Particle physicist

Patricia Burchat studies the structure and distribution of dark matter and dark energy. These mysterious ingredients can't be measured in conventional ways, yet form a quarter of the mass of our universe.

Why you should listen to her:

Patricia Burchat studies the universe's most basic ingredients -- the mysterious dark energy and dark matter that are massively more abundant than the visible stars and galaxies. She is one of the founders of the BaBar Collaboration at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, a project that's hoping to answer the question, "If there are as many anti-particles as there are particles, why can't we see all these anti-particles?"

She's a member of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project, which will allow scientists to monitor exploding supernovae and determine how fast the universe is expanding -- and map how mass is distributed throughout the universe. She's also part of Fermilab Experiment E791, studying the production and decay of charmed particles. Burchat received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005.

"By the time I arrived at Stanford, I knew I was a reductionist at heart. I am most interested in trying to understand nature at its most fundamental level."

Patricia Burchat

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