Dartmouth Events

Physics and Astronomy - Colloquium - Kerstin Perez, MIT

Title: "Scanning the Sky for Sterile Neutrino Dark Matter"

Friday, January 24, 2020
3:00pm – 4:00pm
Wilder 104
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars
Abstract:The particle nature of dark matter is a driving question of contemporary physics, with astrophysical experiments leading the search for dark matter annihilation or decay signatures.  In an era of ever-tightening constraints on Weakly-interacting massive particles (WIMPs), there is increasing interest in light (<1 GeV) dark matter candidates. Sterile neutrinos, which could provide an elegant solution to the puzzle of the observed active neutrino masses and mixing, are among the most well-motivated light dark matter candidates, with astrophysical X-ray observations offering the best opportunity for discovery.  In this talk, I will  review the status of X-ray searches for sterile neutrinos, including the candidate sterile neutrino signal at ~3.5 keV.  In particular, I will describe the novel use of the NuSTAR X-ray satellite observatory to provide the leading constraints in much of the mass range ~10-50 keV, improving upon previous limits at some masses by over an order of magnitude and reducing the available parameter space for sterile neutrinos in the simplest models by almost two-thirds. Finally, I will describe how NuSTAR may help us definitively probe the simplest sterile neutrino dark matter models in the coming years.
For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.