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What is dark matter actually? Chances are that the answer to this question – and a lot more information – can be found in the new app ‘Dark Matter - Behind the Scenes of the Universe’. Developed by UvA researcher Gianfranco Bertone, who is aligned to the GRAPPA research priority area, the app is available now on both iPhone and iPad.

App Dark Matter
Photo: Gianfranco Bertone

A range of new possibilities 

The app is a follow-up to the book Behind the Scenes of the Universe: From the Higgs to Dark Matter (Bertone, Oxford University Press 2013). The text of this book is enriched with new visuals, videos and useful links within the fields of cosmology and astroparticle physics. Bertone: ‘The app takes a closer look at the limited possibilities offered by printed books. I wanted to explore ways of bringing science closer to society, especially students and young people...’

Bertone adds: ‘In collaboration with professional app developers in London, we started by designing a visually appealing interface. The result is an app that looks like a video game, reads like a popular science book and can be used as a portal to selected, high-quality science resources on the Internet.’

Available for download

The app can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store for both the iPhone and iPad. ‘The app is accessible to anyone. By navigating the app and the linked resources, students and young readers will learn about modern physics and cosmology, and the big open questions in science. More advanced readers will learn about the latest developments in the fields, including a description of the most recent experiments and the prospects for…future discoveries.’

In future, Bertone hopes to assist other scientists who would like to create similar apps. ‘We enjoyed developing this app and are collecting ideas for future projects.’