UNESP hosts School on Dark Matter for 80 Latin American Graduate students

Written by ICTP-SAIFR on July 16th, 2016. Posted in ICTP-SAIFR Blog


by Marcos Jorge – Assessoria de Comunicação e Imprensa/UNESP

The Institute of Theoretical Physics hosted between June 27th and July 8th a School on Dark Matter for more than 80 students, from 17 different countries – most from Latin America. The activity was an initiative of the South American Institute for Fundamental Research (SAIFR), the regional branch of the prestigious International Center for Theoretical Physics, located in Trieste, Italy.

The organizers argue that one of the motivations to create the School is the growing interest that this topic has aroused in the recent years. “Sometimes, it is difficult for Latin American students to find in his or her institution someone who works with Dark Matter and a good the opportunity to improve the field is missed”, explains professor Eduardo Pontón, from UNESP.

Pontón explains that Dark Matter is a field that involves several areas such as cosmology, astrophysics or particle physics. “In order to assemble the best faculty, the team searched not only for experienced researchers but also for professors who were well known for their teaching abilities”, Pontón says.

Pontón, a particle physics expert, is one of the School organizers, along with Gianfranco Bertone (GRAPPA – University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Graciela Gelmini (UCLA-Los Angeles, USA) and Fabio Iocco, also a professor at the Institute of Theoretical Physics of UNESP.

According to professor Iocco, since the 1930s, scientists understand that there is visible matter missing in the galaxies, but it was only in the last decades that the scientific community reached a consensus that this dark matter is not part of the Standard Model of particle physics. “That is the moment when Dark Matter is no longer only an Astrophysics topic, but also an issue for the particle physics community. From that moment on, there was a big inertia to study Dark Matter and a great injection of funds”, he explains.

Iocco is an Astrophysicist that in the beginning of 2015 wrote an article entitled Evidence for dark matter in the inner Milky Way published on Nature Physics. The article proved for the first time the presence of Dark Matter in the innermost region of the Milky Way.

Source: http://www.unesp.br/portal#!/noticia/22666/alunos-da-america-latina-se-reunem-em-curso-sobre-materia-escura/