UHM Physics Department Colloquia

From dark particle physics to the matter distribution of the Universe

by Dr. Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine (Physics, Harvard)

Thursday, 8 March 2018 from to (Pacific/Honolulu)
at Watanabe Hall ( 112 )
2505 Correa Rd, UHM
The fundamental properties of dark matter, such as its mass, self-interaction, and coupling to other particles, can have a major impact on the cosmological evolution of matter density fluctuations on a broad range of length scales. Studying in detail the spatial dark matter distribution on these scales can thus yield important clues about its particle nature, even in the absence of direct coupling to Standard Model particles. In this talk, we first briefly review the link between dark matter microphysics and astrophysical structure formation, highlighting along the way important observational lampposts that are unique to certain categories of dark sectors containing light particles. We then discuss how observations of the cosmic microwave background, large-scale structure, and of dwarf satellites around large galaxies can all be used to search for these unique signatures. We conclude by highlighting important challenges that must be overcome to directly connect astrophysical observations to the vast available dark matter parameter space.