AMEGO: Dark Matter Prospects
August 16, 2017
August 03, 2018
The era of precision cosmology has revealed that ∼85% of the matter in the universe is dark matter. Two leading candidates, are weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) and weakly interacting sub-eV particles (WISPs) like axions and axionlike particles. Both WIMPs and WISPs possess distinct γ-ray signatures. Data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT) continues to be an integral part of the search for these dark matter signatures spanning the 50 MeV to >300 GeV energy range in a variety of astrophysical targets. Thus far, there are no conclusive detections; yet, there is an intriguing excess of γ rays associated with the Galactic center that could be explained with WIMP annihilation. The angular resolution of the LAT at lower energies makes source selection challenging and the true nature of the detected signal remains unknown. WISP searches using, e.g. supernova explosions, spectra of blazars, or strongly magnetized environments, would also greatly benefit from increased angular and energy resolution, as well as from polarization measurements. To address these, we are developing AMEGO, the All-sky Medium Energy Gamma-ray Observatory. This instrument has a projected energy and angular resolution that will increase sensitivity by a factor of 20-50 over previous instruments. This will allow us to explore new areas of dark matter parameter space and provide unprecedented access to its particle nature.
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