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Starts With A Bang

Starts With A Bang #56 — Dark Matter Substructure

(Image credit: NASA, ESA, A. NIERENBERG (JPL), AND T. TREU AND D. GILMAN (UCLA))

On the largest scales, dark matter holds the Universe together. But on small ones, it helps reveal exactly what it is… and isn’t!


Dark matter is often thought of as the glue that holds the Universe together. With five times as much gravity due to this unseen form of matter as compared to normal, atom-based matter, it affects how galaxies and giant large-scale structures form in a tremendous, truly epic way. But depending on what the properties of dark matter actually are, we should get a very different Universe on smaller scales.

Is dark matter cold? Warm? Hot? And does it interact with itself, or is it truly invisible? Thanks to a fascinating new technique, we’re learning more about this than ever before. Take a listen as we invite Dr. Anna Nierenberg onto the podcast to talk about how gravitational lensing is revealing dark matter substructure as never before, and how it might reveal these elusive properties of dark matter at long last as a result.

Come take a listen and find out what we’ve learned and are poised to learn about the nature of dark matter itself, and how astronomy is doing what particle physics cannot.


Additional information about this research can be found here. The Starts With A Bang podcast is a monthly series and made possible by our Patreon supporters.


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