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Dark Matter

Der Bulletcluster

The "bullet cluster": Observations with visible light
and in the X-ray range reveal the interaction between baryonic
and dark matter.

Image Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/ M. Markevitch et al.; Lensing Map: NASA/STScI; ESO WFI; Magellan/U.Arizona/ D.Clowe et al. Optical: NASA/STScI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al.


Dark Matter

Clear indications of the presence of large amounts of dark matter were found in the 1930s. However, no fundamental breakthrough has been made in understanding the nature of dark matter or in identifying a specific candidate particle. Unlike visible matter, dark matter (almost) does not interact electromagnetically, which of course makes it enormously difficult to detect dark matter directly using classical astronomical methods. So far, dark matter has been detected through its gravitational interaction with conventional matter. In order to study it more closely and gain new insights, the development of extended possibilities for the detection of dark matter is a current research topic. One such channel is the indirect search for decay or annihilation products of hypothetical dark matter particles with high-energy astroparticle physics experiments. In Dortmund, we are trying to advance the possibilities of indirect detection methods using neutrinos in the IceCube experiment and photons with the MAGIC and CTA telescopes by carrying out theoretical work, planning and carrying out measurement campaigns, and analysing observational data. Simulations are also used to investigate the theoretical limits of experimental possibilities for the detection of dark matter.

Recent topics in the field of the search for dark matter include:

  • Effect of velocity modifications of the dark matter profile on the capture rate in the Earth or the Sun with respect to current neutrino telescopes
  • Determination of the expected gamma-ray flux from dark matter annihilation for the dwarf galaxy Ursa Major II
  • Calculations of expected gamma-ray fluxes from dark matter annihilation using the example of promising dwarf galaxies in the Milky Way halo

If you are interested in writing a bachelor's or master's thesis on dark matter, please contact us by mail or just drop by at the chair!