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A story of light and darkness

18 Sep 2021, 11:00 UTC
A story of light and darkness
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Title: Degeneracies Between Self-interacting Dark Matter and Supernova Feedback as cusp-core transformation mechanismsAuthors: Jan D. Burger, Jesús Zavala, Laura V. Sales, Mark Vogelsberger, Federico Marinacci, Paul TorreyFirst Author’s Institution: University of Iceland, Reykjavík, IcelandStatus: Submitted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, available on arXivSince Fritz Zwicky first demonstrated the existence of dark matter nearly 100 years ago, physicists have gone to great efforts to understand this mysterious component of our Universe. We now know that dark matter makes up most of the matter in the Universe, and that it forms haloes in which galaxies and galaxy clusters are embedded. These ideas have been backed up by theoretical work — huge cosmological simulations of our Universe also produce these dark matter haloes, and can even predict their shapes. These models show that the density of a dark matter halo increases steeply in its centre, leading to a central density “cusp”.However, in recent years this has become somewhat problematic. Observational studies have instead found that the density flattens in the centres of dark matter haloes, to a constant-density “core” (as shown in Figure 1). This tells us that our theoretical work is not quite right — there is something that ...

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