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Optimization of Indirect Dark Matter Searches with Ground-based Gamma-Ray Observatories

Grant number: 23/15494-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2024
Effective date (End): July 31, 2027
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Elementary Particle Physics and Fields
Principal Investigator:Aion da Escóssia Melo Viana
Grantee:Micael Jonathan Duarte Andrade
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


The nature of dark matter (DM) has become one of the most compelling mysteries of particle physics on the one hand, and astrophysics and cosmology on the other. Due to its large DM content and relative proximity, the Galactic Center region is expected to be the brightest source of gamma-rays from DM annihilation or decay in the sky by several orders of magnitude. Even considering the strong background from other astrophysical sources, it is one of the most promising sources to detect the presence of new massive DM particles. This project is focused on the particle physics and astrophysical modeling of the DM signal and the backgrounds in the GC region. The main objective will be to apply new methods, based on multivariate regression and machine learning techniques, to disentangle the overlapping sources of this region, in order to detect and characterize the DM component with the highest significance. These optimal methods will be used in the development and implementation of a multi-dimensional template analysis scheme initially tested in mock simulated data from gamma-ray telescopes, and then applied to real gamma-ray data from observations of the GC region by the H.E.S.S. and HAWC telescopes. In the case of no detection of a DM signal, constraints to theoretical models of DM particle will be derived. Finally, the sensitivity of future observatories, such as the Southern Wide field-of-view Gamma-ray Observatory (SWGO) and the Cherenkov TelescopeArray (CTA) to detect DM annihilation/decay signals from the most promising targets in the Universe will be performed.

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