Shining Light on Dark Matter

Team: 21


Area of Science: Astrophysics

Our project this year is a continuation on the project that we started last year, modeling the interaction of dark matter particles flying through interstellar clouds of atomic hydrogen, in the plasma form. However, after learning more about our project over the summer, we now realize that much of what we did last year, while correct, has certain limitations on what we would be able to continue doing with our model. Thus, we had to backtrack and start the model and program anew so that we would not wind up in a situation in which we could not proceed any further.

For our program this year we will begin with a n-body simulation of the hydrogen and dark matter particles and from there we will add different factors, such as the probability of when the particles will collide and the presence of neutrinos. We will also hopefully be able to then change different parameters of the model so that we would end up with different results.

Modeling this interaction requires making certain assumptions about dark matter, such as the frequency with which an interaction actually occurs with other particles. The size that dark matter particles must be smaller than to avoid direct detection, not the detection of the effect that dark matter particles have on their surrounding objects, such as the gravitational pull, also presents a condition where an interaction is much less likely than if the particles were bigger, the same situation that occurs with neutrinos. We would also have to assume that it has a certain energy potential and concentration, as well as a constant mass and the velocity.

Team Members:

  Chloe Williams
  Conner Hite
  Colin Williams

Sponsoring Teacher: Thomas Allen