The Debate

Dark Matter: A Debate

On November 18th, 2010 the Bethe Colloquium took the form of a debate. The topic, at the interface of cosmology, astrophysics and particle physics, was the existence of dark matter. Dark matter is currently the most common explanation for the discrepancy between measurements of the mass of galaxies, clusters of galaxies and the entire universe, and measurements based on the mass of the visible matter. So far the existence of Dark Matter is inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter and background radiation and not through direct detection. There are other approaches to explain the discrepancies, based on modifications of gravity.

The event contained three parts: First there were 30-minute talks by the participants. Prof. White introduced the dark matter paradigm and showed how it fitted a large set of observations. Then Prof. Kroupa focused on the shortcomings, in particular related to dwarf galaxies in the galactic halo. After that, both participants had time for a five-minute statement to state their main point and respond to each other's talks. Finally, there was a debate between Profs. Kroupa and White, including questions form the audience.

The audience was huge -- Hörsaal I was completely filled, as was the adjacent seminar room. The debate was recorded by, the podcasts can be watched here:

  • The talks of Simon White and Pavel Kroupa (66 Minutes)
  • The short statements of the participants (8 Minutes)
  • The debate (39 Minutes)

You can also download pdfs of the talks of Prof. Kroupa and Prof. White. Furthermore, the TV station 3sat was present, and their science magazine "scobel" had a program about the debate, including interviews with Profs. White and Kroupa.

Here are some photos from the event (click to enlarge):

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