Astrophysical Windows on Dark Matter

British-German WE-Heraeus-Seminar

28 Apr - 30 Apr 2021


Royal Society London

Scientific organizers:

Prof. Carlos S. Frenk, Durham University • Prof. Volker Springel, Prof. Simon D. M. White, Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Garching

This seminar has been postponed from September 2020 to April 2021 due to the corona pandemic.

Dark matter makes up most of the gravitating mass in the Universe and is responsible for the growth of cosmic structure. Multiple lines of evidence, most notably the properties of the cosmic microwave background radiation, indicate that the dark matter is an elementary particle made in the early phases of the Big Bang, which is different from ordinary (or baryonic) matter. Searches for these particles have been ongoing for 35 years. They can take three forms: (i) direct detection; (ii) indirect detection of the products of dark matter particle decay or annihilation and (iii) production in particle accelerators. Although there are claims that the dark matter has been indirectly detected, there is no consensus on this so far.

While only detection or production of dark matter will conclusively establish its properties, various astrophysical phenomena can provide strong hints about its nature. The purpose of this workshop is to explore these astrophysical windows on dark matter. It will focus on both on the key astronomical observables that might reveal the identity of the dark matter and also on how astrophysical constraints may inform experimental searches for dark matter. The conference language will be English. The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation bears the cost of full-board accommodation for all participants.


On the initiative of the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation, the German Physical Society (DPG) together with the Foundation is pursuing a novel project called “Binational Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Seminars”. Considering the unfortunate fact of increasing and prevalent scepticism regarding the European integration, these seminars are meant to set an example of commonly organised physics workshops between Germany and one of the countries France, the United Kingdom, and Poland, as a signal of conducive partnership and scientific cooperation between those countries and their learned societies. In particular, the idea is to initiate new or foster existing collaborations between research groups in these countries and Germany. An additional reason for focussing on the above mentioned countries is the long tradition of prestigious jointly-awarded prizes, namely the Gentner-Kastler-Award (Société Française de Physique & DPG), the Max-Born-Award (Institute of Physics & DPG), and the Marian Smoluchowski - Emil Warburg Physics Prize (Polskie Towarzystwo Fizyczne & DPG). In recognition of this notable tradition, the recent prize winners are invited to (co)organize one of the seminars.