Title: A cosmological structure formation prior for dark matter searches
Authors: Alex Geringer-Sameth - Imperial College London (United Kingdom) [presenting]
Abstract: Ultrafaint dwarf spheroidal galaxies, rich in dark matter, but hosting few visible stars, provide our most sensitive probe of the microscopic nature of dark matter, a central mystery in astronomy and particle physics. The small observational samples of stars make it difficult to infer how dark matter is distributed in these systems and non-informative priors are usually imposed to make progress. We propose to overturn this framework by using our best physical theories of how cosmic structures evolve over time and how galaxies form within them to derive new informative and realistic priors. Surprisingly, when applied to optical and gamma-ray observations, the new priors yield constraints on dark matter particle physics that are significantly weaker than under non-informative priors.