Annika Peter

Annika Peter

Annika Peter

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Chair of the CCAPP Science Board


M2016 Physics Research Building

Areas of Expertise

  • Dark matter astrophysics
  • Cosmology and particle physics
  • Galactic dynamics
  • Dwarf galaxies
  • Cosmic-ray astrophysics


  • Ph.D. Physics, Princeton University, 2008
  • B.S. Physics, University of Washington, 2002
  • B.S. Astronomy, University of Washington, 2002

I work at the interface of particle physics and astronomy to discover the nature of dark matter. As a theorist, I use models for the cosmic distribution of dark matter and astrophysical foregrounds to sharpen constraints from astroparticle dark matter searches, and simulations and analytic models to investigate the effects of dark matter microphysics on the cosmic distribution of dark matter and galaxies. Since joining the faculty of the OSU Physics and OSU Astronomy departments in 2013, I have started an observational program to measure dark matter on small scales. My group leads the LBT-SONG satellite galaxy survey, and we are key players in the MADCASH and Dark Energy Survey searches for Local Volume dwarf galaxies.  Our major effort is a synthesis of these and other observational programs with an associated theory effort to discover and use small dark matter halos (dwarf scale and below) to constrain models of dark matter. The part of my research program that continues to have the most surprises is my work with Prof. Beacom and CCAPP graduate students and postdocs on gamma-ray emission from the Sun. We discovered that this unexpectedly bright emission is highly variable in time, a mystery in origin, and a major foreground for dark matter searches. My group is a significant user of the CCAPP compute condo on Ohio Supercomputer Center’s Ruby and Pitzer clusters, and of OSU’s telescopes and wide-field survey data.

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