February 11, 2004

Susy Darkmatter

I was wondering who Susy Darkmatter was. She isn't anybody, she's a thing.

Martin from Paris came over to give a talk called "Dark Matter and Guage Mediated Supersymmetry Breaking". Dark matter is all the rage and you can't even see it.

The way I understand it is that some cosmologists weigh the universe and having done so note that there isn't enough observable matter to account for the mass they calculate. So the conclusion is that there is a whole load of matter that can neither be seen nor detected. So they look for it by various cunning means, looking for the effects it has on observable matter, looking for neutrinos down dark mines, waiting for them to splat into detectors buried far from the influence of less elusive particles.

Martin has a very beautiful power point presentation. The font is very friendly, like a relaxed felt tip pen, the i's have big dots, almost child like. Very reassuring for the uninitiated. There are lots of colours highlighting text in boxes. In fact the colours are like highlighter pens or the colours one finds on post it stickers.

Often he wanders inbetween the beam and the screen and becomes covered in equations, charts and text. On more than one occasion he is labelled "cold dark matter", "gravatino" and once, "susy".

Posted by Jem Finer at February 11, 2004 5:39 PM