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Astrophysics Luncheon Seminar

The Dark Matter Density Profile
Presented by Julian Merten
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Monday, April 29, 2013
12:00 noon in 169-336

After decades, dark matter is still one of the most mysterious components in our Universe. We know that it has to exist in some form but it's true nature is still unknown. However, numerical simulations have shown that collapsed dark matter halos over a very wide range of scales should follow an almost universal and rather simple dark matter density profile. A feature which is also independent of the halo's redshift. This universal profile is known as the Navarro-Frenk and White (NFW) density profile which is a two parameter broken power law, defined by a scale radius where the density slope changes from a shallow r^-1 behavior to a steep r^-3 fall-off. While NFW is still a good fit to most numerically simulated halos, it has been challenged by many observations of dark matter halos on different scales. In my talk I will review the validity of the NFW profile for galaxy cluster sized halos and show the most recent results on the dark matter density profiles from the ambitious HST Multi-Cycle Treasure program CLASH, a Cluster Lensing and Supernova Survey with Hubble.

SVCP Astrophysics

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