Physics Colloquium: Marcela Carena, Making the Invisible Universe Visible

Wed, Dec 01, 2021 - 04:00 PM — Wed, Dec 01, 2021 - 05:00 PM
Admission Fee
Event Address
By zoom. Please contact Prof. Sriram Ganeshan for more information:
Event Details

The City College of the City University of New York   
160 Convent Avenue   
New York, NY 10031   
Physics Department   

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM   

Where  By Zoom (For details please contact Prof. Ganeshan at

Contact Name  Sriram Ganeshan   

Contact Phone  212-650-6085   



Physics Colloquium   


Making the Invisible Universe Visible     

Marcela Carena 
Professor of Physics, University of Chicago 
Chair, Theory Division at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory 
Enrico Fermi Institute and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics.  



Visible elementary particles and interactions are pretty well understood and we have a powerful mathematical structure to model them. But for reasons still unknown, many fundamental features of the visible world seem to have been determined by yet-to-be-understood properties of invisibles. Examples include the invisible energy field, related to the Higgs Boson that provides mass to fundamental particles, and virtual particles that flicker into existence then disappear, but affect the forces of Nature and the behavior of matter. 

I will discuss interrelated topics with potential for breakthroughs on the invisible Universe: 

  • The many possibilities for the identity of dark matter and their relation to the dark sector. 

  • The matter- antimatter asymmetry of the Universe and its possible connection to phase transitions in the early universe. 

  • The new muon g-2 measurements at Fermilab, that may connect the effects of virtual particles to an explanation of dark matter, the existence of new forces in Nature, or to cousins of the Higgs boson that may change our understanding of the first instants of the Big Bang. 



Carena bio sketch  

Marcela Carena is a particle physicist and head of the Theory Division at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and a Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago, where she is a member of both the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics.  

Her research is in topics in particle physics and cosmology, exploring possible connections between the Higgs boson, dark matter, and the origin of matter in the early universe. She has been a leader in exploring radical new concepts such as supersymmetry and warped extra dimensions, and theories with new forces of nature. Prof. Carena works closely with physicists at the CERN Large Hadron Collider, in particular with those at Fermilab and UChicago, creating and implementing strategies for discovery.  Recently, she is exploring ideas at the boundary between particle physics and quantum information, to tackle problems of quantum theory and the early Universe. 

Prof. Carena held the chair-line of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society (APS) and was the 2017 DPF chair. She is a Fellow of the APS since 2002, and a former APS General Councilor and APS Executive Board member. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2017, and a member of the Academia Nacional de Ciencias Exactas, Fisicas y Naturales of Argentina. She served on the U.S. DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, and on several international scientific advisory panels around the world and is currently an advisory board member of the Serrapilheira Institute in Brazil. She chaired the advisory board of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara and is chairing the advisory board of the Perimeter Institute in Canada.  

Carena won the Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the prize Raices from the Argentinian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. She received awards from the Kavli Institute in Santa Barbara, CERN and the European Commission. 

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