The Dark Side of the Cosmic Dawn
This event is part of the HET Seminar Series.
Dark matter constitutes more than 5/6 of the matter in the universe, but its nature and interactions remain one of the great puzzles of fundamental physics. Dark matter collisions or decays have the potential to produce high-energy particles; such particles may already have reshaped the history of our cosmos, leaving traces of their existence in ionization and heating of the intergalactic medium, and in background radiation from the cosmic dark ages and the epoch of reionization. I will discuss a new public Python package, DarkHistory, for exploring these possible signatures of dark matter physics in cosmological observations. DarkHistory simultaneously solves for the evolution of the ionization level and gas temperature, and for the cooling of particles produced by dark matter processes, allowing a self-consistent treatment of conventional and exotic sources of heating and ionization.