Reprinted from Business Insider UK
50 groundbreaking scientists who are changing the way we see the world
Jessica Orwig and Emmie Martin
Jul. 14, 2015
Author of “The Cosmic Cocktail,” Katherine Freese was one of the first women undergraduate students to graduate with a physics major from Princeton University. She has since taken a position as the director for one of the most prestigious theoretical institutes in the world in Stockholm and is credited for her ground-breaking work to better understand dark matter — one of the most outstanding cosmic mysteries of the century. Scientists know that there's some invisible material that makes up 26% of matter in the universe, but they don't know what it is. They call this substance dark matter and there are dozens of instruments around the world trying to discover particles of this substance. But Freese has another idea.
Freese has developed the theory of “dark stars” that could be a bizarre type of star powered not by nuclear fusion but dark matter. Part of Freese's work is to determine how these dark stars might be observed in the universe. If she's successful in spotting one, it could be the first time anyone has ever observed dark matter directly.
Freese is the George Eugene Uhlenbeck Collegiate Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan.