Astronomy Day at The U to feature Fermilab scientist

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Is the universe a huge "dark cosmos?" That’s a question Dan Hooper, Ph.D., will address during his Astronomy Day lecture at The University of South Dakota on Thursday, May 1.

Hooper, associate scientist in the theoretical astrophysics group at Fermilab in Batavia, Ill., will present "In Search of Our Universe’s Missing Mass and Energy" at 7 p.m. in Farber Hall, Old Main. Sponsored by the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences at The U, Hooper’s lecture will discuss the cosmic influences of dark matter and dark energy.

"One holds the universe together while the other tears it apart," Hooper stated. "The makeup of these forces has been a mystery, but the latest discoveries of experimental physics have brought us closer to that knowledge."

Highlights of the presentation, which is free and open to the public, will also address what physicists have learned since the publication of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity through the modern physics of today. Much of this new evidence, according to Hooper, suggests that a large part of the universe is unseen. In addition to his discussion on May 1, Hooper will also speak with physics students and faculty on Wednesday, April 30 in the Akeley-Lawrence Science Center on the USD campus.

Originally from Minnesota, Hooper’s research at Fermilab investigates dark matter, super symmetry, neutrinos, extra dimensions and cosmic rays. His first book, “Dark Cosmos,” was published in 2006 by Smithsonian/Harper Collins. His second book, “Nature’s Blueprint,” is planned for a fall release.

For more information about Hooper's lecture or Astronomy Day, please contact Christina Keller at (605) 677-6125. A photo of Hooper is available for download at