The Path to Understanding Dark Matter: Novel Observations of Low-Mass Galaxies

Feb 13, 2023 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

SLAC, Kavli 3rd Floor Conf. Room

Shany Danieli (Princeton) In Person and zoom

Zoom Recording

Being some of the most dark matter-dominated systems discovered to date, low-mass galaxies offer crucial tests for our cosmological model and fill in the gaps in our understanding of the universe at smaller scales. With recent advancements in telescope instrumentation and image analysis techniques, we are now able to gain new insights into the diversity and complexities of these important objects. In this talk, I will present results from novel observations of low-mass galaxies beyond our local galactic neighborhood. These observations shed light on their number densities, structures, and internal dynamics, and offer intriguing clues to the nature of dark matter and the theory of galaxy formation on small scales. I will discuss ongoing and future astronomical surveys and follow-up observations that are essential for: (1) systematically mapping the census and properties of low-mass galaxies, both near and far; (2) directly measuring the distribution of dark matter in these galaxies through their stellar and gas kinematics; (3) untangling the interplay of baryons and dark matter. The collective power of these observational pursuits, as well as theoretical advancements, could lead to a breakthrough in our understanding of dark matter physics.