© 2023 Aspen Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Aspen Public Radio is proud to present select lectures, discussions, and conversations from area events and festivals, thanks to a remarkable collection of community partners. Click here to view the full archive. Events are recorded at no cost to the partner and archived here online; select recordings are broadcast on Aspen Public Radio Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

Aspen Center for Physics: Masha Baryakhtar

This event was recorded on June 21, 2023 at Aspen Center for Physics during the 2023 DeWolf Foundation Physics Talks, in partnership with Aspen Public Radio.

Most of our Universe is dark. It is dark literally: measurements tell us that all the matter we can see makes up only five percent of the content of our Universe. It is also dark conceptually: while we have built a very precise description of the physical world, we know this is only a tiny slice of the entire picture. In this talk, Masha Baryakhtar speaks about some of the darkest corners of our universe: black holes, from which no light can escape, and hypothetical particles called axions, which interact so feebly with us that we can hardly hope to see them. Baryakhtar explains why particle physicists have been searching for axions over the last four decades, and how astrophysical black holes may, counterintuitively, shed light on their existence.

About Masha Baryakhtar

Masha Baryakhtar is Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Washington. Professor Baryakhtar's research in theoretical particle physics focuses on ideas beyond the Standard Model and on creating new directions for testing them. This includes new physics that solves outstanding puzzles and which may be tested in colliders or in precision experiments; pinning down the particle nature of dark matter using observations in the sky and in the lab; and the the broader intersection of particle theory with astroparticle physics, cosmology, and gravitational waves. Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Professor Baryakhtar moved to the United States in middle school. She received her A.B. summa cum laude in Physics and Mathematics at Harvard University, and her Ph.D. in Physics at Stanford University. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Washington in 2021, Baryakhtar was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and a James Arthur Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics at New York University.