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Episode 174: Fuzzy Dark Matter, with Lachlan Lancaster

25 Nov 2019, 02:00 UTC
Episode 174: Fuzzy Dark Matter, with Lachlan Lancaster
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Feature Guest: Lachlan Lancaster Quantum mechanics is strange. Until recently we could comfort ourselves with the belief that its odd properties were safely confined to the world of the microscopic. But what if quantum mechanical effects were suddenly magnified to cosmological scales. Imagine the quantum mechanical interference pattern spread across clusters of galaxies. That’s a possibility, according to a new theory of dark matter known as fuzzy dark matter, which imagines dark matter particles as being incredibly minuscule but with astrologically large wavelengths. How can we prove whether this fascinating new theory is correct? Do these ultra small particles give us clues to mysterious string theory? And what does all this mean about the past, present and future of the universe? Today we’re joined here at The Star Spot by Lachlan Lancaster, co-author of a new paper that sheds light on these questions. Current in Space While NASA's New Horizons spacecraft transformed Pluto from a speck to a world before speeding past, Joseph gets us excited for a proposed second mission that would orbit the dwarf planet and more! Then Dunja asks if a certain particle may be changing the very fabric of the Universe itself! And Amelia and Tony take us back in time to the early Universe with a baffling discovery: the first stars may have formed faster than previously thought.  About Our Guest Dr. Lachlan Lancaster is an astrophysics PhD student at Princeton University studying the intersection of Galactic Dynamics and Cosmology. He receiverd his Masters from Cambridge University after conducting research at the University of California Davis.Quantum mechanics is strange. Until recently we could comfort ourselves with the belief that its odd properties were safely confined to the world of the microscopic. But what if quantum mechanical effects were suddenly magnified to cosmological scales. That’s a possibility, according to a new theory of dark matter known as fuzzy dark matter. Today we’re joined here at The Star Spot by Lachlan Lancaster, co-author of a new paper that sheds light on these questions.

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