Young scientists from Nature’s Outlook on the dark Universe share their views on dark matter, gravitational waves, and dark energy.
You can find the full Outlook, covering the Lindau conference, Nobel prize winners, and Q&As with George Smoot and Brian Schmidt, here.
“We’re excluding so much parameter space that I sometimes feel dark-matter detection must be right around the corner. I’m trying to test models of sterile neutrinos as dark matter. Sterile neutrinos would be the heavier, right-handed counterparts to the active neutrinos we have detected. There have been some hints of them in X-ray satellite data, but the situation is as yet unclear.”
“I’m extremely excited about the detection of gravitational waves; it’s like gaining a new sense. It has the potential to provide experimental evidence for and against possible modifications of general relativity. For example, my work proposes a gravitational mechanism for generating small neutrino masses. Prospective measurements of gravitational waves could prove us wrong.”
“Finding that dark energy is not a cosmological constant would be huge. Many experiments have been designed to find a discrepancy, and all have failed. But we must continue to explore alternative theories, because we cannot explain the magnitude of the observed value of the cosmological constant. I’m trying to use cosmic structures like galaxy clusters to test dark energy on smaller scales, which I hope will allow us to exclude some of the alternative models.”
Maximilian Totzauer and Lena Funcke are PhD students at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, Germany.
Dimitrios Tanoglidis is a master’s student at the University of Crete in Heraklion, Greece.
All three attended the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.