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Physics Colloquium: Mariangela Lisanti, "Searching for Signals of Dark Matter in the Milky Way"

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Physics Colloquium: Mariangela Lisanti, "Searching for Signals of Dark Matter in the Milky Way"
When Mar 23, 2016
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where MR418N
Contact Name
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Prof. Mariangela Lisanti
Princeton University

"Searching for Signals of Dark Matter in the Milky Way"

Abstract:
Although dark matter comprises nearly 85% of the Universe's matter density, its fundamental properties continue to elude us.  Indirect detection experiments, which search for products of dark-matter annihilation in the Milky Way, provide a promising avenue for discovering and characterizing the dark matter.  I will review the current status of such searches with data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope.  My primary focus will be on the development of a new analysis technique that aids in distinguishing astrophysical point sources from a potential dark-matter signal.  We have used these techniques to study an excess of gamma-rays near the center of the Galaxy, which could be interpreted as a signal of dark matter.  Our study found that the excess can be accounted for by a previously undiscovered population of new astrophysical sources, disfavoring the dark-matter hypothesis.  These new sources may be fossil remnants from Galactic bulge formation, possibly providing a window into the formation history of the Milky Way.