AN ONGOING “crisis is cosmology” is engaging academics at a conference this week.

Experts from around the world have gathered in Durham to discuss the failure of the Large Hadron Collider to provide any evidence for dark matter particles.

Scientists say most of the mass of the Universe is made up of unknown forms known as dark matter, or dark energy.

Many believe this is made of sub-atomic particles. However, Cern’s findings, or lack of them, have provoked much debate among leaders in the particle physics field.

Hence, the theme of this week’s conference Ripples in the Cosmos conference at Durham University is: “crisis in cosmology”.

Speakers include Brian Schmidt, who won the Nobel prize for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe.

Professor Tom Shanks, from Durham University’s physics department, said: “Having leading astronomers and particle physicists here in Durham makes inevitable new advances in our understanding of our Universe.

“This is especially the case given the results that are being announced this week from giant new astronomical surveys and from ‘needle in the haystack’ dark matter particle searches at Cern.”

The five-day conference ends on Friday (July 26). For more information, visit