Public lecture: Sydney

Unravel the mysteries of dark matter with Professor Céline Boehm as part of the National Quantum & Dark Matter Road Trip.

Join the National Quantum & Dark Matter Road Trip in Sydney to hear from an expert in the field on how and why we hunt for dark matter.

Date: Friday 12 August 2022
Time: 6:30 pm: arrival and tea/coffee; 7:00–8:00 pm: public lecture
Venue: Messell Lecture Theatre, The University of Sydney

This is a FREE event. Tea and coffee will be provided before the lecture.

Speaker: Céline Boehm
Title: Beyond the visible Universe: the kingdom of the unknown and a place for vivid imagination

Summary: Physics, as a discipline, intends to provide compelling scientific explanations to the phenomena that we know—whether they are macroscopic or microscopic.  Quantum mechanics, particle physics and Einstein’s theory of gravity are all examples of incredible achievements by the physics community that have withstood the test of time.  Yet, the mathematical laws that capture so well the properties of atoms and planets fail to explain the rotation of galaxies and the distribution of matter across the sky.  They fail unless one assumes that an invisible matter, unknown to us on Earth, permeates the Universe, or one accepts that Einstein’s theory of gravity needs to be modified.  In this talk, I will present some of the mind-blowing ideas proposed by theoretical physicists and the remarkable technology invented by experimentalists to test these new concepts, and how ultimately the exploration of the very faint and distant Universe will drastically change our understanding of the Universe and our place within it.

Bio: Céline is the Head of School of Physics at the University of Sydney and a Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Dark Matter Particle Physics. She is an astroparticle physicist who studies cosmology, astrophysics and particle physics.  Céline has worked around the world, most recently as Chair of Physics at the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology at Durham University, in the UK. She previously held academic positions in physics at the Laboratoire d’Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique Théorique in France, CERN in Switzerland, and Oxford University in the UK. She completed her PhD in theoretical physics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris in France and her Master of Science at Ecole Normale Supérieure and the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris. In parallel, she completed a Master of Science in Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Féminine in France.  In recognition of her significant contributions to physics and demonstrated impact in her field, Céline was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in the UK in 2015. Joining the University of Sydney in January 2018, she is only the second woman to be Head of School of Physics in the school’s history.

We are very grateful to The University of Sydney, especially the School of Physics and the Physics Foundation, for their support of this event.

Visit for more or follow @qdmroadtrip on Twitter and Instagram.


Major funding support

Australian Research Council

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present.