Dr. Ramanath Cowsik
McConnell Center for the Space Sciences
St. Louis, MO
Dynamical Probes of Dark Matters of the Universe
Monday, May 5, 2008
During the last few decades the interconnections between different branches of fundamental physics have yielded deep insights with the physical world. Understanding quarks, leptons and other such elementary particles have helped us understand the exciting phenomena observed in the cosmos. Conversely the observations of the stars, the galaxies and the expanding universe provide the testing grounds for the physics beyond the ‘Standard Model’ of particle physics. This colloquium is devoted to the exploration of one theme within this interconnection – the role of weakly interacting particles in the formation and dynamics of the large-scale structures in this universe. After a brief overview of the historical developments in cosmology as related to dark matter and dark energy in the universe, we will focus attention on probing the phase space structure of dark matter in our galaxy and its satellites. A clear understanding of this structure is important not only for the detection of the dark matter particles, but also for resolving the paradoxical absence of dynamical friction on globular clusters in the dwarf spheroidal galaxy in the constellation Fornax.