It is generally accepted nowadays that the matter density of the Universe mainly consists of an unknown component, called Dark Matter (DM). It is also believed that DM is formed of a new neutral, stable and non-baryonic elementary particle. In high density environments of the Universe DM may self-annihilate and produce a strong gamma-ray signal. Among all possible targets, the Galactic Center region is expected to be the brightest source of DM annihilations in the gamma-ray sky by several orders of magnitude. This project aims to estimate the sensitivity of present gamma-ray detectors, such as Fermi-LAT and H.E.S.S., as well as future observatories, such as the Southern Wide field-of-view Gamma-ray Observatory (SWGO) and the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), to detect a DM annihilation signal from the Galactic Center region. Since this region also has a strong astrophysical non-thermal gamma-ray emission, a particular attention will be given to the optimization of the observation strategy and signal extraction region in order to increase the sensitivity of these telescopes to a DM signal. The main objective of the proposed activity is to introduce the student to the context of research, by means of the study of one of the leading topics in high energy physics: the indirect search for dark matter.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: