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Searching for dark matter with gamma-rays

Grant number: 21/00131-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Elementary Particle Physics and Fields
Principal Investigator:Aion da Escóssia Melo Viana
Grantee:Maria Eliza de Melo Ramos
Host Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/14893-3 - Extreme phenomena of the Galactic Center and indirect searches of dark matter with gamma rays, AP.JP


It is generally accepted nowadays that the matter density of the Universe mainly consists of an unknown component, called Dark Matter (DM). It is also believed that DM is formed of a new neutral, stable and non-baryonic elementary particle. In high density environments of the Universe DM may self-annihilate and produce a strong gamma-ray signal. Among all possible targets, the Galactic Center region is expected to be the brightest source of DM annihilations in the gamma-ray sky by several orders of magnitude. This project aims to estimate the sensitivity of present gamma-ray detectors, such as Fermi-LAT and H.E.S.S., as well as future observatories, such as the Southern Wide field-of-view Gamma-ray Observatory (SWGO) and the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), to detect a DM annihilation signal from the Galactic Center region. Since this region also has a strong astrophysical non-thermal gamma-ray emission, a particular attention will be given to the optimization of the observation strategy and signal extraction region in order to increase the sensitivity of these telescopes to a DM signal. The main objective of the proposed activity is to introduce the student to the context of research, by means of the study of one of the leading topics in high energy physics: the indirect search for dark matter.

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