- 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
- Live From the International Space Station, It’s Saturday Morning Physics
- A team of researchers—Robert McGehee and Aaron Pierce of U-M Physics and Gilly Elor of Johannes Gutenberg University—proposed a new candidate for dark matter: HYPER, or “HighlY Interactive ParticlE Relics.”
- A Special Thank You to Navy Captain Josh Cassada and to NASA!
- Physicist Gregory Tarlé and Team, Find First Observational Evidence Linking Black Holes to Dark Energy
- Support Michigan Physics on Giving Blueday!
- $18M to advance materials research for quantum computing, sustainable plastics and more
- Michigan Physicists and Collaborators New Muon Result Explores Uncharted Territory in Search for New Physics
- U-M Physicist Joshua Spitz Receives 2023 Experimental Physics Investigator Award
- The Universe Caught Suppressing Cosmic Structure Growth
- U-M Collaboration to Receive DOE Grant to Diversify Physics
- Five Physics Researchers From U-M Named American Physical Society Fellows
- Thank You for Your Help Supporting Women in Physics!
- It Happened at Michigan — ‘You’ve got to be excellent’
- All Events
- Special Lectures
- K-12 Programs
- Saturday Morning Physics
- Seminars & Colloquia
Imagine planting a single seed and, with great precision, being able to predict the exact height of the tree that grows from it. Now imagine traveling to the future and snapping photographic proof that you were right.
If you think of the seed as the early universe, and the tree as the universe the way it looks now, you have an idea of what the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration has just done. University of Michigan (U-M) physicists including August Evrard, David Gerdes, Dragan Huterer, Chris Miller, Gregory Tarlé, and research scientist Michael Schubnell; 7 graduate students, and dozens of undergraduate students have contributed over the years to DES by providing major components of the DES camera. The U-M research team continues active ongoing roles in survey operations and data analysis for DES. In a presentation today at the American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields meeting at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, DES scientists will unveil the most accurate measurement ever made of the present large-scale structure of the universe.
These measurements of the amount and “clumpiness” (or distribution) of dark matter in the present-day cosmos were made with a precision that, for the first time, rivals that of inferences from the early universe by the European Space Agency’s orbiting Planck observatory. The new DES result (the tree, in the above metaphor) is close to “forecasts” made from the Planck measurements of the distant past (the seed), allowing scientists to understand more about the ways the universe has evolved over 14 billion years.
“This result is beyond exciting,” said Scott Dodelson of Fermilab, one of the lead scientists on this result. “For the first time, we’re able to see the current structure of the universe with the same clarity that we can see its infancy, and we can follow the threads from one to the other, confirming many predictions along the way.”
Most notably, this result supports the theory that 26 percent of the universe is in the form of mysterious dark matter and that space is filled with an also-unseen dark energy, which is causing the accelerating expansion of the universe and makes up 70 percent.
Paradoxically, it is easier to measure the large-scale clumpiness of the universe in the distant past than it is to measure it today. In the first 400,000 years following the Big Bang, the universe was filled with a glowing gas, the light from which survives to this day. Planck’s map of this cosmic microwave background radiation gives us a snapshot of the universe at that very early time. Since then, the gravity of dark matter has pulled mass together and made the universe clumpier over time. But dark energy has been fighting back, pushing matter apart. Using the Planck map as a start, cosmologists can calculate precisely how this battle plays out over 14 billion years.
“The DES measurements, when compared with the Planck map, support the simplest version of the dark matter/dark energy theory,” said Joe Zuntz, of the University of Edinburgh, who worked on the analysis. “The moment we realized that our measurement matched the Planck result within 7% was thrilling for the entire collaboration.”
The primary instrument for DES is the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera, one of the most powerful in existence, able to capture digital images of light from galaxies eight billion light years from Earth. The camera was built and tested at Fermilab, the lead laboratory on the Dark Energy Survey, and is mounted on the National Science Foundation’s 4 meter Blanco telescope, part of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, a division of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. The DES data are processed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Scientists on DES are using the camera to map an eighth of the sky in unprecedented detail over five years. The fifth year of observation will begin in August. The new results released today draw only from data collected during the survey’s first year, which covers one thirtieth of the sky.
“It is amazing that the team has managed to achieve such precision from only the first year of their survey,” said National Science Foundation Program Director Nigel Sharp. “Now that their analysis techniques are developed and tested, we look forward with eager anticipation to breakthrough results as the survey continues.”
DES scientists used two methods to measure dark matter. First, they created maps of galaxy positions as tracers, and second, they precisely measured the shapes of 26 million galaxies to directly map the patterns of dark matter over billions of light years, using a technique called gravitational lensing.
To make these ultra-precise measurements, the DES team developed new ways to detect the tiny lensing distortions of galaxy images, an effect not even visible to the eye, enabling revolutionary advances in understanding these cosmic signals. In the process, they created the largest guide to spotting dark matter in the cosmos ever drawn (see image). The new dark matter map is ten times the size of the one DES released in 2015 and will eventually be three times larger than it is now.
“It’s an enormous team effort and the culmination of years of focused work,” said Erin Sheldon, a physicist at the DOE’s Brookhaven National Lab, who co-developed the new method for detecting lensing distortions.
“In a sense we’re making a time-lapse movie of billions of years of cosmic evolution,” added U-M physicist David Gerdes, a member of the DES team, “and the agreement with theory is impressive. Equally impressive is the dedicated effort by hundreds of people over more than a decade to achieve today’s results.”
These results and others from the first year of the Dark Energy Survey will be released today online at https://www.darkenergysurvey.org/des-year-1-cosmology-results-papers and announced during a talk by Daniel Gruen, NASA Einstein fellow at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, at 5 p.m. Central time. The talk is part of the APS Division of Particles and Fields meeting at Fermilab and will be live-streamed at: http://vms.fnal.gov/asset/livevideo.
The results will also be presented by Kavli fellow Elisabeth Krause at the TeV Particle Astrophysics Conference in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 9, and by Michael Troxel, postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics at Ohio State University, at the International Symposium on Lepton Photon Interactions at High Energies in Guanzhou, China, on Aug. 10. All three of these speakers are coordinators of DES science working groups and made key contributions to the analysis.
“The Dark Energy Survey has already delivered some remarkable discoveries and measurements, and they have barely scratched the surface of their data,” said Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer. “Today’s world-leading results point forward to the great strides DES will make toward understanding dark energy in the coming years.”
The Dark Energy Survey is a collaboration of more than 400 scientists from 26 institutions in seven countries. Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, U.S. National Science Foundation, Ministry of Science and Education of Spain, Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, Higher Education Funding Council for England, ETH Zurich for Switzerland, National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics at Ohio State University, Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University, Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos, Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico and Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, and the collaborating institutions in the Dark Energy Survey, the list of which can be found at www.darkenergysurvey.org/collaboration.
Fermilab is America’s premier national laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research. A U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory, Fermilab is located near Chicago, Illinois, and operated under contract by the Fermi Research Alliance LLC. Visit Fermilab’s website at www.fnal.gov and follow us on Twitter at @Fermilab.
The DOE Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.
· Andre Salles, Fermilab Office of Communication, firstname.lastname@example.org, 630-840-3351
· Carol Rabuck, University of Michigan Department of Physics, email@example.com, 734-763-2588
· Josh Frieman, Dark Energy Survey Director, Fermilab, firstname.lastname@example.org, 847-274-0429
· Gary Bernstein, Dark Energy Survey Project Scientist, University of Pennsylvania, email@example.com, 215-573-6252
· Scott Dodelson, Dark Energy Survey Science Committee co-chair, Fermilab, firstname.lastname@example.org, 847-764-9185