- All News & Features
- Search News & Features
- Physics Grad Kate Miller Featured in Physics in Your Future APS Brochure
- Gravitational waves: U-M physicists involved in second detection
- The Hunt for Dark Matter Continues: PandaX Reaches World’s Best Sensitivity
- Stars Burning Strangely Make Life in the Multiverse More Likely
- Physics Professor Gordon Kane Awarded 2017 APS J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics
- U-M Astrophysicist Katherine Freese Explains the Search for the Universe’s ‘Dark Stars’
- New Dwarf Planet Solar System’s 2nd Most Distant
- Physicist David Gerdes and Team Find New Dwarf Planet In Our Solar System
- Professor Keith Riles – Member of LIGO Team
- Researchers Invent New Material that can Switch Between Being Hard and Soft
- The 2017 Physics Commencement Live Event
- Physics Professors Receive MURI Grant
- Alec Josaitis Recently Awarded International Institute and Rackham Graduate School Individual Research Fellowship
- Dr. Priyashree Roy Earns 2016 Jefferson Science Associates (JSA) Thesis Prize
- LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves for Third Time
- U-M Physics Alum Alex Nitz Helps Detect Colliding Black Holes in Space
- Professor Henriette Elvang Selected for a College of Literature, Science, and Arts John Dewey Award
- Professor Gordon Kane Quoted in "Yearning for New Physics at CERN, in a Post-Higgs Way"
- Professor Rachel Goldman and Team Develop Technique which Could Boost Efficiency of LED Lighting by 50 Percent and May Pave the Way for Invisibility Cloaking Devices
- Dark Energy Survey reveals most accurate measurement of dark matter structure in the universe
- Professor David Gerdes Featured in USA Today Solar Eclipse Article
- U-M Physics Research Fellow Bachana Lomsadze and Professor Steven Cundiff Develop Novel Spectroscopy Technique that Could Revolutionize Chemical Detection
- Kip S. Thorne, Winner of 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics, Has U-M Physics Connections
- LIGO and Virgo Make First Detection of Gravitational Waves Produced By Colliding Neutron Stars
- Leinweber Foundation Gives $8M for Physics Center in U-M Department of Physics
- Four U-M Physics Faculty Named Fellows
- Michigan Fireball Meteor Registers As Quake: Astrophysicist David Gerdes Quoted
- Professor Fred Adams Quoted in Science News Article
- A Modern Rutherford Experiment: Scientists Use Known Energy Neutrinos to Study Nucleus
- It's Givin' Me Excitations: U-M Study Uncovers First Steps of Photosynthesis
- UM Astrophysicist David Gerdes and Team in the Hunt for Planet 9
- U-M Physics Professor Franco Nori Makes 2017 Highly Cited Researchers List
- U-M Society of Physics Students Talk STEM and More
- The 2018 Physics Commencement Live Event
- Professor Timothy McKay Reveals His Science Journey in Recent Podcast
- Physics Students Tali Khain and Noah McNeal Awarded Goldwater Scholarships
- Homer A. Neal 1942-2018
- The Higgs Boson Reveals Its Love for the Top Quark
- Physics Rev E Celebrates 'Milestone Articles' of Physics Faculty
- Physics Graduate Benjamin Isaacoff Awarded Optical Society of America's Guenther Congressional Fellowship
- Professor Katherine Freese and Team's Hunt for Dark Matter Turns to Ancient Minerals
- Professor Benjamin Safdi Awarded DOE’s Early Career Award
- Professor Christine Aidala Serves on National Academy Committee Endorsing Science Case for Electron-Ion Collider
- U-M Physicist Lu Li Cracks Code on Material that Works as Both Conductor, Insulator
- U-M Physicist Wins Nobel Prize
- New Physics Faculty Member Dominika Zgid
- Astrophysicist Katherine Freese Quoted in Astronomy Magazine
- Physicist Jennifer Ogilvie and Team Are Shedding New Light on Photosynthesis
- Professors Hui Deng and Mack Kira Named 2019 Fellows of the Optical Society
- Four Physics Faculty Named 2018 Fellows of the American Physical Society
- Four Physics Faculty Awarded American Physical Society Honors
- Gas-Detecting Laser Device Gets an Upgrade
- U-M Physicists Roberto Merlin, Meredith Henstridge and Team Develop Small Device that Bends Light to Generate New Radiation
- Physics Alum Larry Curtiss and Faculty Advisors Devised Contraption That Lead to Fiber Optics
- Michigan Physics Welcomes LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellow Camille Avestruz
- Support Michigan Physics on Giving Blueday!
- Physicist Timothy Chupp Named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
- U-M Physics Senior Noah McNeal Awarded Marshall Scholarship
- Astrophysicist Katherine Freese and Colleague’s Latest Theory About Dark Stars Made Astronomy Magazine's Cover Story
- First Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Fellows Named by Leinweber Center for Theoretical Physics
- Physics Graduate Student Awarded 2018-2019 Rackham International Student Fellowship
- Professor David Gerdes Named Next Physics Department Chair
- Three U-M Physicists Make Highly Cited Researchers 2018 List
- State of Michigan Governor Declares February 28, 2019: Chirped Pulse Amplification Day
- Physicist Dragan Huterer Receives Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award
- Physicist Sharon Glotzer Elected to National Academy of Engineering
- Professor Rachel Goldman Elected Vice Chair of Division of Materials Physics
- Physicist Liuyan Zhao Awarded NSF CAREER Award
- Physicist Henriette Elvang Awarded Thurnau Professorship
- Physics Senior Sophie Barterian Earns Prestigious Luce Scholarship
- Electric Dipole Moments and the Search for the Origin of Matter
- Three Physics Graduate Students Named Recipients of 2019-2020 Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship
- Professor Christine Aidala receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to Italy
- Professor August Evrard's Problem Roulette Tool Recently Awarded Provost's Teaching Innovation Prize
- Five U-M Physics Faculty Recently Promoted
- Professor Steven Cundiff Discusses Quantum Information Science at the White House
- Professor Stephen Forrest named Henry Russel Lecturer for 2020
- Physicist Roy Clarke and International Team Devise Way to Show How Common Elements Can Make a More Energy-Secure Future
- Professor Jens-Christian Meiners Receives Grant to Tackle the Bends
- Graduate Student Summer Fellows Named by Leinweber Center for Theoretical Physics
- Professor Christine Aidala Wins Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
- U-M Physics Professor Wins Fundamental Physics Innovation Award
- 2019 U-M Physics Graduate Wins American Physical Society LeRoy Apker Award
- Pushing boundaries: Nobel prize winner on science literacy and lasers
- DESI opens its 5,000 eyes to capture the colors of the cosmos
- Team at U-M Sheds Light on New Electromagnetic Ordering
- LUX-ZEPLIN Dark Matter Detector Moved Nearly a Mile Underground
- Support Michigan Physics on Giving Blueday
- Six U-M Physics Students Awarded Competitive National Fellowships
- Professor Liuyan Zhao Wins Prestigious Air Force Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Award
- Two Graduate Students Awarded Prestigious Department of Energy Fellowships
- Electron-Ion Collider, a New Nuclear Physics Facility, to Be Built at Brookhaven National Laboratory
- Physicist David Gerdes Quoted in Michigan News Article Regarding How COVID-19 Disrupts Research Projects
- Physicist Ben Safdi and Research Team Provide Another Twist in the Dark Matter Story
- U-M Physics Faculty Member Named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Professor Xiaoming Mao Awarded $7.5M Grant to Bring Metamaterial to Life
- Now Complete, Telescope Instrument is Poised to Begin Its Search for Answers About Dark Energy
- Celebrating Our Undergraduate Awardees
- Celebrating Our Graduate Awardees
- U-M Senior’s COVID-19 Data Model Reaches CDC
- Physics Grad Student Rory Fitzpatrick and Professor Josh Spitz Shed Light on Electron Neutrino Interactions
- Professors Bjoern Penning and Marcelle Soares-Santos Highlighted in Physics Today Article
- U-M Physics Awarded $7.1 Million on Project to Upgrade the ATLAS Experiment
- When Dancers and Aliens Overlap
- Physicist David Lubensky and Team Determine Stress Fibers Help Cells Keep Their Shape—and May Also Regulate Size, During Development
- "Physics: A Resounding Legacy" - A Tribute to Patron Norman E. Barnett
- Physics Professor Joshua Spitz, Graduate Student Johnathon Jordan, and Research Team Propose Using Ancient Minerals from Deep within Earth’s Crust to Measure Cosmic Radiation
- U-M Physics Professors Byron Roe and Joshua Spitz Part of Collaboration to Search for New Physics
- Physics Grad Student Christopher Dessert Part of Team Researching X-Rays from Neutron Stars Which Could Lead to Discovery of New Particle
- Assistant Professor Liuyan Zhao Awarded a Prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship
- Assistant Professor Marcelle Soares-Santos Named 2021 Cottrell Scholar
- U-M Physicists Part of Study that Finds Unexpected Antimatter Asymmetry in the Proton
- Physics Graduate Student Kevin Napier is Lead Author on New Paper Casting Doubt on ‘Planet Nine’
- Physics Undergraduate Jiani Fei Proposes Solution to Quantum Field Theory Problem
- Physicists Hui Deng, Steve Forrest, and Research Team Discover “Egg Carton” Quantum Dot Array Could Lead to Ultralow Power Devices
- U-M Physics Group Led by Professor Tim Chupp Joins in Announcement of Stronger Evidence of New Physics Revealed by Fermilab's Muon g-2 Experiment
- U-M Physics Professors Roberto Merlin, Gregory Tarlé, and Graduate Student Noah Green Help Create Novel Optical Physics Method to Measure the Expansion of the Universe
- Physicist Christine Aidala Featured in LSA Magazine’s Spring 2021 Edition
- Dr. Melissa Hutcheson, Professor Myron Campbell and Research Team Find Possible Deviation from the Standard Model of Physics
- U-M Physics Professor Lu Li, Dr. Kuan-Wen Chen, Dr. Ziji Xiang and Research Teams Reveal a New State of Matter in Kondo Insulator
- Physicist Jennifer Ogilvie, Assistant Research Scientist Yin Song, and Researchers Trace Path of Light in Photosynthesis
- Dark Energy Survey Releases Most Precise Look at Universe's Evolution
- Celebrating our 2021 Graduate Awardees!
- Physics Collegiate Fellow Eric Spanton Talks ‘Weird Science’
- An Inconstant Hubble Constant? U-M Research Suggests Fix to Cosmological Cornerstone
- ATLAS Provided the First Observation of the Triboson WWW Process
- 1985 Nobel laureate Klaus von Klitzing gives 29th annual Ta-You Wu lecture
- The Wow Moment, Remote
- MicroBooNE Experiment’s First Results Show No Hint of a Sterile Neutrino
- Magnets with a Twist: U-M Physics Researchers Liuyan Zhao and Her Team Engineer Magnetic Complexity into Atomically Thin Magnets
- Dr. Melissa Hutcheson Wins APS Mitsuyoshi Tanaka Dissertation Award in Experimental Particle Physics
- UM Physicists Michael Schubnell, Gregory Tarlé and Team Part of Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument Which Creates Largest 3D Map of the Cosmos
- Michigan Physics graduate Students Make Key Contributions to Experimental Results
- U-M Physics Researcher Co-Chairs Ballistic Missile Defense Report
- Congratulations to Physicist David Lubensky Awarded a 2022 Simons Fellowship
- Please Donate Today (March 17) to the Undergraduate Support Fund for Giving Blueday!
- What’s Inside a Black Hole? U-M Physicist Enrico Rinaldi Uses Quantum Computing, Machine Learning to Find Out
- Dr. Sangmin Choi Recipient of Honorable Mention in Rackham’s 2021 ProQuest Dissertation Awards
- U-M Physics Alum Lia Merminga Appointed Director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
- Physics and Astronomy Senior Anna Simpson One of Five Students to Win Prestigious 2022 Goldwater Scholarship!
- Congratulations to Mark Newman on His Election to the Royal Society
- U-M Renames Randall Laboratory Addition After Pioneering Physicist Homer A. Neal
- Congratulations to Anna Simpson, U-M's 2022 Astronaut Scholar!
- Michigan Physics Welcomes Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Scholars to Ann Arbor Campus
- Successful Startup of Particle Detector Aims to Pin Down Dark Matter
- U-M Researchers Untangle the Physics of High-Temperature Superconductors
- All Events
- Special Lectures
- K-12 Programs
- Saturday Morning Physics
- Seminars & Colloquia
New results from the Dark Energy Survey use the largest ever sample of galaxies over an enormous piece of the sky to produce the most precise measurements of the universe's composition and growth to date.
The analysis, which includes the first three years of data from the survey, is consistent with predictions from the current best model of the universe, the standard cosmological model. Nevertheless, there remain hints from DES and other experiments that matter in the present-day universe is less clumpy, or forms less structure, than predicted.
The DES collaboration consists of over 400 scientists from 25 institutions in seven countries, including a host of faculty, postdoctoral researchers and students from the University of Michigan. U-M cosmologist Dragan Huterer co-led the DES working group in charge of connecting data to theory and producing key constraints on the properties of dark matter and dark energy.
"New results from the Dark Energy Survey provide unprecedented constraints on the evolution of cosmic structure over the past seven billion years. They answer old questions and raise new ones about how the universe went from being dominated by dark matter to starting a new phase of accelerated expansion powered by a mysterious component called dark energy," Huterer said. "The new science release, captured in 29 cross-cutting papers describing the multi-probe methodology and its application, is a milestone in the field of cosmology. The combined results from the distribution of galaxies and its evolution over cosmic time dramatically improve our knowledge of the universe."
Over the course of six years, DES surveyed 5,000 square degrees—almost one-eighth of the entire sky—in 758 nights of observation, cataloguing hundreds of millions of objects. The results announced today draw on data from the first three years—226 million galaxies observed over 345 nights—to create the largest and most precise maps yet of the distribution of galaxies in the universe at relatively recent epochs.
Since DES studied nearby galaxies as well as those billions of light-years away, its maps provide both a snapshot of the current large-scale structure of the universe and a movie of how that structure has evolved over the course of the past 7 billion years.
Ordinary matter makes up only about 5% of the universe. Dark energy, which cosmologists hypothesize drives the accelerating expansion of the universe by counteracting the force of gravity, accounts for about 70%. The last 25% is dark matter, whose gravitational influence binds galaxies together. Both dark matter and dark energy remain invisible and mysterious, but DES seeks to illuminate their natures by studying how the competition between them shapes the large-scale structure of the universe over cosmic time.
To test cosmologists' current model of the universe, DES scientists compared their results with measurements from the European Space Agency's orbiting Planck observatory. Planck used light signals known as the cosmic microwave background to peer back to the early universe, just 400,000 years after the Big Bang. The Planck data give a precise view of the universe 13 billion years ago, and the standard cosmological model predicts how dark matter should evolve to the present. If DES's observations don't match this prediction, there is possibly an undiscovered aspect to the universe. While there have been persistent hints from DES and several previous galaxy surveys that the current universe is a few percent less clumpy than predicted—an intriguing find worthy of further investigation—the recently released results are consistent with the prediction.
DES photographed the night sky using the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera on the Victor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, a Program of the National Science Foundation's NOIRLab. One of the most powerful digital cameras in the world, the Dark Energy Camera was designed specifically for DES and built and tested at Fermilab. The DES data were processed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
To quantify the distribution of dark matter and the effect of dark energy, DES relied on two main phenomena. First, on large scales, galaxies are not distributed randomly throughout space but rather form a weblike structure due to the gravity of dark matter. DES measured how this cosmic web has evolved over the history of the universe. The galaxy clustering that forms the cosmic web, in turn, revealed regions with a higher density of dark matter.
Second, DES detected the signature of dark matter through weak gravitational lensing. As light from a distant galaxy travels through space, the gravity of both ordinary and dark matter can bend it, resulting in a distorted image of the galaxy as seen from Earth. By studying how the apparent shapes of distant galaxies are aligned with each other and with the positions of nearby galaxies along the line of sight, DES scientists inferred the spatial distribution (or clumpiness) of the dark matter in the universe.
U-M cosmologists played an important role in all aspects of the Dark Energy Survey. More than a decade ago, physicist Gregory Tarlé's team helped build parts of the camera, while in the intervening years professors Gus Evrard, Chris Miller, and Tim McKay and their students and postdocs led the analysis of galaxy clusters, the largest gravitationally-stable objects in the universe. Physicist David Gerdes led an effort to discover hundreds of distant solar system objects, including a new dwarf planet, in the DES data, while professor Marcelle Soares-Santos field-tested the telescope in its early phase and then used the survey's data to find galactic homes of black holes and neutron stars whose mergers were detected via gravitational waves.
DES concluded observations of the night sky in 2019. With the experience of analyzing the first half of the data, the team is now prepared to handle the complete data set. The final DES analysis is expected to paint an even more precise picture of the dark matter and dark energy in the universe. And the methods developed by the team have paved the way for future sky surveys to probe the mysteries of the cosmos.
"The collaboration is remarkably young. It's tilted strongly in the direction of postdocs and graduate students who are doing a huge amount of this work," said DES Director and spokesperson Rich Kron, who is a Fermilab and University of Chicago scientist. "That's really gratifying. A new generation of cosmologists are being trained using the Dark Energy Survey."
The recent DES results was presented in a scientific seminar on May 27. Twenty-nine papers will be available on the arXiv online repository.
Study: DES Cosmology Results