"Revealing the nature of dark matter with Milky Way dwarf satellite galaxies"

Mei-Yu Wang
Texas A&M
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
4:00 pm
FRH 4135
*Please note special location

The dwarf galaxies surrounding the Milky Way provide a unique and powerful way to explore the nature of dark matter. They are the most extreme dark matter dominated objects known to us with central mass to light ratios typically of the order of tens to hundreds. Through measurements of their stellar kinematics, we can study their dark matter content in exquisite precision. This allows us to probes their halo structure that is sensitive to different dark matter physics such as warm dark matter, self-interaction, and decay instabilities. In this talk, I present frameworks that address these questions by combining high-precision stellar kinematic measurements with state-of-art cosmological N-body simulations and detailed kinematic modeling. I demonstrate that the properties of the dark matter are linked to the mechanisms that drive satellite galaxy and halo evolution such as infall time and the effects of tides. In the CDM scenario some dwarf galaxies explicitly require to be shaped under significant gravitational tidal forces, which will leave imprints on their stellar distribution and kinematics. I also discuss the optimized kinematic observational strategies for achieving precision measurement of dark matter contents in newly discovered faint dwarf galaxies with current and future spectroscopic follow-up facilities, and forecast their constraining power on WIMP dark matter models. I discuss how these results are driving advances in both astronomy and particle physics, and having the potential to shed lights on the nature of dark matter.

Michael Cooper