Cosmic Enigmas - What do we know about dark matter and energy?

Max Planck Forum Berlin

  • Date: Apr 19, 2018
  • Time: 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Eiichiro Komatsu, Director at the MPI for Astrophysics; Masahiro Teshima, Director at the MPI for Physics
  • Location: Residence of the Embassy of Japan, Hiroshimastr. 6, 10785 Berlin
  • Host: Max Planck Society and the Embassy of Japan in Berlin
  • Contact:
Cosmic Enigmas - What do we know about dark matter and energy?
There is hardly any other subject that so preoccupies cosmology as the question of the physical composition of dark matter and dark energy. Are they driving forces in the evolution of the universe or yesterday’s theory?

How did the universe begin? Why did stars, planets, and galaxies form? The Big Bang theory is now recognized as the leading explanation, but it is still fraught with many mysteries. Also, the question of how the cosmos has evolved has not yet been answered. Astrophysicists know at least that that the universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate. But what are the forces behind it? Dark matter and dark energy occupy a key role in all theories currently under discussion — this mysterious substance is suspected of making up 96 percent of the entire universe.

There is hardly any other subject that so preoccupies cosmology as the question of its physical composition. However, some researchers have now cast doubt on the very existence of dark matter, as promising new experimental methods have so far failed to provide any evidence of a single particle of dark matter. High energy or gamma-ray astronomy promises help in the search for this unknown substance.

Lectures & Discussion
Eiichiro Komatsu is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. He is an expert for cosmic microwave background, theories of the early universe and inflation. He obtained his doctoral degree from Tohoku University in Japan and afterwards joined Princeton University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Masahiro Teshima is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Physics. His field of research is high-energy cosmic radiation, gamma-ray astronomy and the telescope observatory projects Magic and  C.T.A. He is Professor at Tokyo University and was visiting researcher at the University of Utah, USA. Until 2002 he was Director of the Akeno Observatory, ICRR of the University of Tokyo.

Moderator: Ralf Krauter, Science Journalist (Deutschlandfunk)

You are cordially invited to a reception after the panel discussion.


The event is hosted by the Embassy of Japan

Japan is one of the oldest and most important research partners of the Max Planck Society. The long tradition of a joint research collaboration goes back to the beginning of the 20th century when Riken, today one of the world’s leading research facilities, was founded on the model of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, the Max Planck Society's predecessor organization. Even in those days, there was a lively scientific exchange between the two facilities. In astrophysics, Japan is one of the leading nations today. Its great expertise and high standard of training in this area is also reflected in the large number of Japanese researchers working in this field in the Max Planck Society. The Max Planck Forum would like to offer two of such scientists a platform to present their work to the public.

Please follow the link on the left side to register by 12 April 2018.

A personal identity document is required for admission. Admittance is from 5 p.m. For security reasons, it is not possible to attend the event with large items of luggage.

There are no parking facilities available. We therefore recommend using public transport to get to the venue.

Go to Editor View