CCAPP Seminar: "Fundamental Physics with the Smallest Galaxies" Alex Drlica-Wagner (Fermilab)

March 8, 2016
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 11:30am to 12:30pm
PRB 4138
Oval

The population of Milky Way satellite galaxies includes the least luminous, least chemically evolved, and most dark matter dominated galaxies in the known universe. Due to their proximity, high dark matter content, and low astrophysical backgrounds, dwarf spheroidal galaxies are unique probes of cosmology and promising targets for indirect searches for dark matter. Prior to 2015, roughly two dozen dwarf spheroidal galaxies were known to surround the Milky Way. Since the beginning of last year, new optical imaging surveys have discovered over twenty new dwarf galaxy candidates, potentially doubling the population of Milky Way satellite galaxies in a single year. I will discuss recent optical searches for dwarf galaxies, focusing specifically on results from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) and the implications for gamma-ray searches for dark matter annihilation with the Fermi Large Area Telescope.

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