2024 Teachers’ Program

The 45th Annual University of Alabama High School Physics Contest (HSPC) will be held on Friday, January 26, 2024 at the John England Hall on he University of Alabama campus. This event is open to all high schools and usually attracts schools from surrounding states as well as many from Alabama.

As a part of HSPC, we host a ‘Teacher’s program’ session.

This year, we have invited Dr. Ryan Wang, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Alabama. Dr. Wang will deliver a presentation on “Dark Matter in the Universe” and discuss the ongoing experimental endeavors aimed at discovering Dark Matter particles.

Speaker: Dr. Ryan Wang (University of Alabama)

Title: Hunting for the invisible Deep Underground

In the past decades, physicists have been working deep underground to solve the mystery of the universe.
The “invisible matter” which can penetrate through almost everything constitutes 27% of the energy content of the Universe. This strange and unknown matter called “dark matter” (DM), has been confirmed by astrophysical and cosmological evidence. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the nature of dark matter, among those, Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) are the most promising candidate. Physicists have been utilizing different techniques to detect dark matter. Among those techniques, liquid noble gases have been extensively used for direct dark matter searches and neutrino physics. In this talk, I will introduce the techniques of liquid noble gas dark matter detector. In addition, the latest progress of the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) detector at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) will be presented.