Published: 07 November 2017

Surrey invites public to explore dark matter

The University’s astrophysicists staged ‘Seeing the Unseen’, a special event to celebrate Dark Matter Day on 31 October.


Nearly 350 members of the public descended on the University for an evening of activities, talks and shows aimed at enabling them to explore intriguing phenomenon in the world we cannot see such as dark matter.

The event was organised by Surrey’s Department of Physics, Surrey Space Centre (SSC), Physoc Society and Widening Participation Department, in partnership with SEPnet (South East Physics Network), the Guildford Astronomical Society, Royal Holloway University and Hertfordshire University.

Visitors got the chance to attend a planetarium show, hear lectures by dark matter experts, and see the University’s telescope facilities. They could also take a ‘Journey through the unseen’ at University Hall where a series of interactive stands brought physics concepts to life – such dark matter, black holes and the weird and wonderful world of quantum physics.

The talks on dark matter proved to be highly popular, with visitors finding it incredible that the planets, stars and other things we can see make up just five per cent of the Universe. Visitors also enjoyed having the opportunity to put their questions to research scientists, and to find out how physics is being applied to other fields such as medicine.

Outreach officer Dr Heather Campbell said: “Events like this one are really important in enabling us to share the exciting work we’re doing in the Department of Physics with the local community. Science can be enjoyed by everyone, and we hope that by opening our doors we can make it more accessible to people who’d like to find out a bit more – as well as inspiring some of the bright young minds of the future.”

See a video about the ‘Seeing the Unseen’ event.

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