Licentiate thesis: Effects of Dark Matter in Astrophysical Systems
Friday 07 April 2017
to 15:00 at
Stefan Clementz (KTH Physics)
When studying astrophysical structures with sizes ranging from dwarf galaxies to galaxy clusters, it becomes clear that there are vast amounts of unobservable gravitating mass. A compelling hypothesis is that this missing mass, which we call dark matter, consists of elementary particles that can be described in the same manner as those of the standard model of particle physics. This thesis is dedicated to the study of particle dark matter in astrophysical systems.
The solar composition problem refers to the current mismatch between theoretical predictions and observations of the solar convection zone depth and sound speed profile. It has been shown that heat transfer by dark matter in the Sun may cool the solar core and alleviate the problem. We discuss solar capture of a self-interacting Dirac fermion dark matter candidate and show that, even though particles and antiparticles annihilate, the abundance of such a particle may be large enough to influence solar physics.
Currently, direct and indirect methods are employed in searches for dark matter. In this context, we study inelastic dark matter, where a small mass splitting separates two dark matter particles and scattering takes one into the other. This affects the scattering kinematics, which in turn affects direct detection and solar capture rates. We also discuss the information contained in a direct detection signal and how it can be used to infer a minimal solar capture rate of dark matter.
When comparing simulated dark matter halos with collisionless dark matter with dark matter halos inferred from observations, problems appear in the smallest structures. A proposed solution is self-interacting dark matter with long range forces. As the simplest models are under severe constraints, we study self-interactions in a model of inelastic dark matter.