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The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU)

Probing the Nature of Dark Matter through the Distribution of Lyman-alpha Emitting Gas around Ultra Luminous Quasars

Awarded Resources (in node hours)
Vega CPU
System Partition
4 March 2024 - 3 March 2025
Allocation Period

Dark matter (DM) makes up about 25% of the content of the Universe in the standard cosmological model.

Its existence was predicted to explain the rapid growth of structures in the Universe such as our galaxy, that ultimately led to our existence. While there is now multiple indirect evidence for the presence of DM in the Universe, its exact nature remains one of the major questions of modern cosmology.

The work described in this proposal aims at developing tools to use new astrophysical observations to probe DM properties. In particular, in addition to standard cold dark matter, we plan to investigate models such as thermal relics warm dark matter, and self interacting dark matter. The main idea is to trace the invisible DM distribution through that of Lyman-alpha (Lya) emitting hydrogen. By its nature, this gas has been minimally disturbed by stellar and feedback processes, and is hence an optimal tracer of DM.

Its distribution is affected by DM properties, and the morphology of associated giant Lya nebulae hence contains a wealth of information about the nature of DM. Developing tools to access this information from the latest data is thus crucial to further expand our understanding of the Universe.