Dark Matter

Issue 51 July 2019

On Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Brian Clegg is an English science writer. He is the author of popular science books on topics including light, infinity, quantum entanglement and surviving the impact of climate change, and biographies of Roger Bacon and Eadweard Muybridge. In this exclusive interview he discusses ideas relating to his latest book, ‘Dark Matter & Dark Energy: The Hidden 95% of the Universe’.

Voices

Aura Satz is Moving Image Tutor and Reader in Fine Art (Sound and Moving Image) on the Contemporary Art Practice programme at the Royal College of Art.

Aura Satz’s work encompasses film, sound, performance and sculpture. Her work centres on the trope of ventriloquism in order to conceptualise a distributed, expanded and shared notion of voice. Works are made in conversation and use dialogue as both method and subject matter.
Satz has made a body of work centred on various sound technologies in order to explore notation systems, code and encryption, and ways in which these might resist standardisation, generating new soundscapes, and in turn new forms of listening and attending to the other.

95% of the Universe is missing

Professor Malcolm Fairbairn is a member of the Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology Research Group, Kings College London. His research lies at the boundary between cosmology, particle physics and astrophysics. In particular, he is interested in dark matter, dark energy, cosmological inflation and particle astrophysics. He has been awarded an ERC consolidator grant running from 2015-2020 to study dark matter and particle physics in the early Universe.

On the Surface

Rachel Pimm works in sculpture, video and performance to explore environments and their materialities, histories and politics often from the point of view of non-human agents such as plants, minerals, worms, water, gravity or rubber. She is interested in the potential of surfaces and matter to transform.

Working in sound, Lori E Allen uses sources including obscure dialogue, background noise, cut-up word percussion and distorted popular television themes to create audio landscapes.

There’s more to this than meets the eye

The work of Yu-Chen Wang asks fundamental questions about human identity at a key point in history, where eco-systems and techno-systems have become inextricably intertwined. Yu-Chen’s central practice is drawing, allowing her to explore and meditate on mechanical and biological forms, and the ways in which their bodily borderlines blur and mutate. From these extemporisations, she then finds collaborative routes that take her work into the realms of fictional text, provoking the subsequent production of sculptural installation, performance, music, and film, in various combinations.

Her new large-scale intricate drawing, exhibited at the Science Gallery, London exhibition ‘Dark Matter: 95% of the Universe is missing’, explores the concepts of dark matter and how knowledge is created.

Cartoon Logic

Andy Holden is an artist who works in a variety of mediums.

His immersive new installation, ‘Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape’, for the Science Gallery London exhibition ‘Dark Matter: 95% of the Universe is missing’ reflects on the physics of a cartoon environment which defy the normal conditions of gravity, force, and velocity.

Missing Mass

Experimenting with ideas of time, space and physicality, Carey Young’s body of artistic work explores law as a separate kind of ‘reality’, one with its own inherent subjectivities and points of breakdown.

‘Missing Mass’ (2010) is a sculptural work created with the scientific guidance of Prof. Malcolm Fairbairn, an astrophysicist based at King’s College London and is exhibited at the Science Gallery, London exhibition ‘Dark Matter: 95% of the Universe is missing’.

Experiment picks up light from the first stars – and it may change our understanding of dark matter

Carole Mundell is Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy, Head of the Astrophysics Group, University of Bath. She is an observational astrophysicist who specialises in astrophysical phenomena outside of our own galaxy, including gamma ray bursts and active galactic nuclei. She leads the Bath Astrophysics Group and currently also acts as Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Our study suggests the elusive ‘neutrino’ could make up a significant part of dark matter

Ian G McCarthy is a Reader in theoretical astrophysics at the Astrophysics Research Institute at Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, UK. He is a member of the ARI’s Computational & Theoretical Galaxy Formation group.

“I use both supercomputer simulations and good old-fashioned “pencil and paper” theory to study a variety of topics relating to structure formation in the Universe, including the formation and evolution of galaxies and the use of large-scale structure as a sensitive probe of cosmology. I work closely with observers to test the predictions of the simulations/models and to intepret the observational data.”

Bizarre ‘dark fluid’ with negative mass could dominate the universe – what my research suggests

Dr. Jamie Farnes is an astrophysicist and radio astronomer, currently based at Oxford University’s e-Research Centre (OeRC) in the UK. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2012 in the area of observational astrophysics. At Cambridge, he was based at Trinity Hall, the Cavendish Laboratory, and the Kavli Institute for Cosmology. He has also held postdoctoral positions at the University of Sydney, Australia, and as an Excellence Fellow at Radboud University, the Netherlands. His research has mostly focussed on driving forward the skills needed for next-generation Big Data radio telescopes such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – which will be the largest radio telescope ever constructed.