Project level: PhD

Depending on exactly what went on in the early Universe, the first dark matter halos may have formed extremely early, when there was nothing to dirupt their growth into extremely dense structures. These objects, known as ultracompact minihalos (UCMHs) may still be around today. Searching for them is one of the best ways to probe what happenened on small scales in the early Universe, before the formation of the cosmic microwave background.

The project aims to:

  • simulate the formation of UCMHs in the early Universe, in order to better understand just how compact they really should be;
  • improve searches for them with gamma rays and pulsar timing (as tested using the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope); and
  • use the results of those searches together with searches for primordial black holes to test theories of early Universe physics such as inflation.

Starting points: arxiv:1110.2484, arxiv:1905.05766

Project members

Dr Pat Scott

ARC Future Fellowship
School of Mathematics and Physics