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Published on May 13, 2012
The last decade of cosmological observations tells us that 95% of the energy density in the universe is dark: the combination of about 25% of dark matter, whose nature is unknown and 70% of an even more mysterious dark energy. Ordinary matter only represents 5% of the energy budget. I will review attempts to shed light on this dark side of the universe, in particular current attempts to detect Weakly Interactive Massive Particles, which could make the dark matter.
Bernard Sadoulet, a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and a "Docteur des Sciences" of Paris-Orsay University, is by training an elementary particle physicist. He participated in two prestigious experiments which led to Nobel Prizes: the experiment at SLAC which discovered the J/y, the t lepton and the charm particles, and the experiment at CERN which discovered the W and Z particles. In 1984 he decided to shift his efforts towards particle astrophysics and cosmology. In 1985 he was appointed Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley, and from 1989 to 2001 he was the Director of the Center for Particle Astrophysics, one of the 11 first generation Science and Technology Centers of the National Science Foundation. He is currently Director of the UC system-wide Institute for Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (INPAC).