Unraveling the Dark Universe With the Large Hadron Collider

PHYS 248

All the planets, stars and galaxies we see make up less than 5 percent of the universe. The invisible dark matter underlying galaxies, together with dark energy, accounts for the other 95 percent of the universe’s total energy and mass. This course will examine the reasons why scientists believe in the existence of dark matter and dark energy. It will also introduce the state-of-the-art techniques used to search for dark matter using the Big Bang machine, also known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Course Curriculum and Features

The course includes lectures, hands-on computing projects, a student symposium, field trips to on-campus physics labs and a virtual tour of CERN, the physical location of the LHC.

Designed For

Those who are eager to learn about one of the biggest puzzles in science in the 21st century and ongoing efforts by UW physicists to solve it. High school physics is recommended but not required; a background in advanced math is not required.

Attendance and Workload

All Early Fall Start courses require the same amount of academic work as any other UW course, and full attendance and participation is required. In general, each course requires about 10 hours of homework each week.


Shih-Chieh Hsu
Assistant Professor, Department of Physics

Dates & Times

Aug 22–Sep 15, 2017

UW Seattle
9:30 a.m.–12 p.m.