University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Monday, April 15th 2019
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Keith Bechtol, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Subject: Dark Matter Science in the LSST Era

Astrophysical observations probe the physics of dark matter through its impact on structure formation throughout cosmic history. On large scales, current observational data are well described by a simple model of stable, non-relativistic, collisionless, cold dark matter (CDM). However, many viable theoretical models of dark matter predict deviations from CDM that are testable with current and future observations. Fundamental properties of dark matter — e.g., particle mass, self-interaction cross section, coupling to the Standard Model, and time evolution — can imprint themselves on the macroscopic distribution of matter in a detectable manner. With supporting theoretical efforts and follow-up observations, LSST will be sensitive to several distinct classes of dark matter models, including particle dark matter, field dark matter, and compact objects. I will discuss several astrophysical probes of dark matter microphysics that can be pursued with LSST, as well as synergies between LSST and other astronomical, cosmological, and particle physics experiments of the 2020s.

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