Dark Matter and Gravitational Lensing

An interactive teacher‰۪s demonstration connects circular motion to dark matter. Students are prompted to make predictions and explain the differences between their predictions and observations. The mathematical analysis activity allows students to work through calculations related to the lensing of light around massive objects and subatomic momentum collisions in a dark matter detector.



  • Lesson plans: Dark Matter and Gravitational Lensing
  • Videos: The Mystery of Dark Matter (approx. 30 min)
  • Activities: Advanced Mathematical Analysis (worksheet and solutions)
  • Demonstrations: Uniform Circular Motion;
  • Supplementary Materials: Dark Matter in a Nutshell and more
  • Teacher-provided Materials: Wine glass, centripetal motion apparatus (string, rubber stopper, washers, plastic tube, paper clip)

(Note: all lesson plans and worksheets provided as PDFs and modifiable MS Word documents)