Abstracts are provided in the language submitted.

Cosmological and astrophysical evidence point to the existence of an unknown substance we simply refer to as dark matter. Dark matter forms about 26% of our Universe and ,through its gravitational interactions with visible matter, it is responsible to the formation of galaxies, galaxy clusters and other structure in our universe. The nature of dark matter is unknown. It may be an elementary particle (like the electron) and interact with visible matter via a new unknown force. In this talk I will discuss some of the methods particle physicists use to hunt for this illusive matter, in particular I will focus on direct detection which is a major direction of research in the Canadian Astroparticle physics community. Discovering dark matter is a crucial step to understanding the dynamics of our Universe.

Dr. Gopolang Mohlabeng