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Indirect dark matter searches with the Cherenkov Telescope Array

Grant number: 19/26523-6
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): September 15, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Elementary Particle Physics and Fields
Principal researcher:Luiz Vitor de Souza Filho
Grantee:Maria Carolina Kherlakian
Supervisor abroad: Miguel Sánchez-Conde
Home Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:18/25793-7 - Indirect dark matter searches in ultra faint dwarf galaxies, BP.MS


Dark Matter (DM) is one of the most intriguing questions of modern astrophysics. Over thepast decades several instruments (HESS, VERITAS, MAGIC) were build with the intention of sky observation, and among one of the goals was uncovering the nature of this dark particle that makes up to 75% of our Universe. Although such instruments imposed several constraints on the dark matter parameter phase space, it is well known that better instruments are of pivotal importance for unveiling the nature of dark matter. That being said, the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is going to play a major role in improving our understanding of central question in dark physics. As show hereafter, one of the scientific key projects of the CTA experiment is dedicated uniquely for Dark Matter and exotic physics searches, since given its unprecedented resolution, it will expand the window of the parameter phase space that must be explored. Besides having a state of art experiment for dark matter studies, it is also of major importance to know the DM distribution and concentration along the Universe. The dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxies (dSphs) of the Milky Way are some of the most dark matter dominated objects known at present. These sources have favorable low gamma-ray backgrounds due to the lack of recent star formation history and little or no gas to serve as target material for cosmic rays. Therefore the observation of gamma-rays from these sources could provide important and clean signal from dark matter annihilation or decay. This project is a continuation of the master project approved by FAPESP (2018/25793-7). The student has worked on the possibility to measure the signal generated in dSphs subhalos. First, she studied and implemented the calculation based on many-body simulations (AQUARIUS, VIA-LACTEA II) which give the properties and distribution of dark subhalos in our galaxy. Second, using the platform CLUMPY, she generated hundreds of sky-maps with subhalos distributed accordingly to the many-body simulations results. In this process it was necessary to take into account the distribution of DM and the number of photons generated in each annihilation. We intend to also generate sky-maps with different properties and distributions during the months preceding the internship. Now, the student must apply the sensitivity of CTA to the number of photons reaching at Earth. For this last part of the work, the proposed internship is going to be important because the supervisor in the host institution is the leader of the DM group in CTA. (AU)

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