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Detecting Dark Matter in the Milky Way with Cosmic and Gamma Radiation

  • Author(s): Carlson, Eric Christopher
  • Advisor(s): Profumo, Stefano
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

Over the last decade, experiments in high-energy astroparticle physics have reached unprecedented precision and sensitivity which span the electromagnetic and cosmic-ray spectra. These advances have opened a new window onto the universe for which little was previously known. Such dramatic increases in sensitivity lead naturally to claims of excess emission, which call for either revised astrophysical models or the existence of exotic new sources such as particle dark matter. Here we stand firmly with Occam, sharpening his razor by (i) developing new techniques for discriminating astrophysical signatures from those of dark matter, and (ii) by developing detailed foreground models which can explain excess signals and shed light on the underlying astrophysical processes at hand. We concentrate most directly on observations of Galactic gamma and cosmic rays, factoring the discussion into three related parts which each contain significant advancements from our cumulative works. In Part I we introduce concepts which are fundamental to the Indirect Detection of particle dark matter, including motivations, targets, experiments, production of Standard Model particles, and a variety of statistical techniques. In Part II we introduce basic and advanced modelling techniques for propagation of cosmic-rays through the Galaxy and describe astrophysical gamma-ray production, as well as presenting state-of-the-art propagation models of the Milky Way.Finally, in Part III, we employ these models and techniques in order to study several indirect detection signals, including the Fermi GeV excess at the Galactic center, the Fermi 135 GeV line, the 3.5 keV line, and the WMAP-Planck haze.

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