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Dr. Richard Galvez

Dr. Galvez TEDx Photo

Dr. Richard Galvez is a Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Astronomy and Physics at Vanderbilt and Fisk University. He received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 2015 in Theoretical Physics with a focus on Cosmology and Particle Physics. Before this he completed a M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Physics from Florida International University in Miami, FL, his hometown.

Richard’s research focuses on the possible particle physics and cosmology connections of Dark Matter. Richard is also a passionate supporter of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge program, which aims to increase the representation of traditionally marginalized groups in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. On his free time, Richard also composes electronic music and is a strong supporter of the Python programming language, open source software and open access science. His long term goals include being selected to become a NASA Astronaut and increasing access to knowledge and educational resources equally throughout the world.

Richard’s Talk: “What Exactly is Dark Matter Anyway?”

Have you ever wondered what the Universe is made of? Or, what material substance fills our entire Universe? In this talk, Richard Galvez leads a thought experiment illustrating the modern conundrum that is Dark Matter: the invisible material that represents the overwhelming majority of the matter in our Universe and its role in our current understanding of cosmology.

First the laboratory that the experiment takes place in is introduced through a zooming view of our home, from the Earth, its solar system, onto the Milky Way Galaxy and then finally out to the largest length scale known— the cosmological horizon.

Afterwards, the irrefutable observational evidence for the existence of the mysterious dark matter is discussed, from gravitational lensing to the large scale structure of the Universe. After carefully considering this experimental evidence, he then ends with a hypothetical thought experiment involving an iconic and classic object in physics— an apple.