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Extreme phenomena of the Galactic Center and indirect searches of dark matter with gamma rays


Astrophysical observations of high-energy gamma-rays play a crucial role in the exploration of non-thermal phenomena in the Universe in their most extreme and violent forms. It can also provide unique information about exotic Particle Physics phenomena beyond the Standard Model. For instance, an intense gamma-ray production might be expected from the annihilation of non-baryonic dark matter in dense environments. Among all the high-energy environments of our Galaxy, the Galactic Center region is definitely the richest. It harbors a large amount of non-thermal emitters, including the closest supermassive black hole, multiple supernova remnants and pulsar wind nebulae, and it is expected to be the brightest source of gamma-rays from dark matter annihilation in the sky by several orders of magnitude. The present research project proposes the creation of group at IFSC-USP that will introduce a yet inexistent aspect of very-high-energy Astrophysics in Brazil: analysis of real Cherenkov gamma-ray data with the potential of high-impact discoveries in the fields of dark matter searches and the Galactic Center astrophysics. The main activity of the group will be the analysis of the data collected by the H.E.S.S. telescope and the Fermi-LAT space telescope. H.E.S.S. is one of the leading Cherenkov telescopes in activity and only de-facto precursor to CTA in the southern hemisphere. It is currently undertaking an ambitious program of Key Science Projects to be achieved before CTA starts its operation, including a long-term survey of the Galactic Center region. This application opens the possibility for IFSC-USP to be the first Institution in South America to participate in the H.E.S.S. Collaboration as an associate member, and to take a leading role in its main analysis projects. (AU)

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