The Future Of Dark Matter Research – With Guest Dr. Matthew Walker (Part 3)

March 15, 2013

John P. Millis, PhD for – Your Universe Online

In previous podcasts we discussed the modern dark matter problem and how we search for this mysterious substance. But what exactly is dark matter? Is it ‘hot’ dark matter, ‘cold’ dark matter or perhaps something that researchers have not yet even thought of?

To find out, we conclude our three-part series on dark matter with Dr. Matt Walker, a research scientist with the Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University.

During our discussion we look at the future of the search for dark matter research as well as what the implications of finding – or not finding – definitive proof of the existence of dark matter will be for the fields of physics and astronomy. Finally we examine some of the perplexing dark matter studies that have been conducted and ponder whether or not dark matter may even be matter at all.

If you haven’t already, be sure to listen to parts one and two of this series, “What Is Dark Matter?” and “The Search For Dark Matter.”


Dr. Matthew Walker is an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA, and studies dark matter by measuring the motions of stars in galaxies. He has measured velocities for thousands of stars within the dwarf galaxies that orbit the Milky Way, and uses these data to infer the small-scale clustering properties of dark matter.

Dr. Walker earned a BS in physics and a BA in philosophy from Western Illinois University in 1999, and a PhD from the University of Michigan in 2007. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, England, and is currently a Hubble postdoctoral fellow at Harvard College Observatory.