Physicist Katherine Freese blogs about A New Piece to the Dark Matter Puzzle from the World Science Festival 2011. Another highlight of the Fair was a panel discussion, Four Ways Scientists Are Trying to Figure Out Dark Matter and Dark Energy in which Professor Freese also participated.

Professor Freese works on a wide range of topics in theoretical cosmology and astroparticle physics. A focus of her research has been the attempt to resolve the mystery of the dark matter and dark energy that permeates our universe. She is also working to build a successful model of the early universe immediately after the big bang.

She has shown that most of the mass in galaxies does not consist of ordinary stellar material, and has proposed ways to look for alternatives such as supersymmetric particles motivated by particle theory. Currently, there is a great deal of excitement surrounding the possible detections of these particles in a variety of experiments worldwide and in space. Most recently, Professor Freese proposed that Dark Stars powered by dark matter are the first stars to form in the universe.

Professor Freese is the George E. Uhlenbeck Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan and the Associate Director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics. You may learn more about Professor Katherine Freese on the U-M Physics Website.