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Snowmass2021 theory frontier white paper: Astrophysical and cosmological probes of dark matter

Boddy, Kimberly K. and Lisanti, Mariangela and McDermott, Samuel D. and Rodd, Nicholas L. and Weniger, Christoph and Ali-Haïmoud, Yacine and Buschmann, Malte and Cholis, Ilias and Croon, Djuna and Erickcek, Adrienne L. and Gluscevic, Vera and Leane, Rebecca K. and Mishra-Sharma, Siddharth and Muñoz, Julian B. and Nadler, Ethan O. and Natarajan, Priyamvada and Price-Whelan, Adrian and Vegetti, Simona and Witte, Samuel J. (2022) 'Snowmass2021 theory frontier white paper: Astrophysical and cosmological probes of dark matter.', Journal of High Energy Astrophysics, 35 .


While astrophysical and cosmological probes provide a remarkably precise and consistent picture of the quantity and general properties of dark matter, its fundamental nature remains one of the most significant open questions in physics. Obtaining a more comprehensive understanding of dark matter within the next decade will require overcoming a number of theoretical challenges: the groundwork for these strides is being laid now, yet much remains to be done. Chief among the upcoming challenges is establishing the theoretical foundation needed to harness the full potential of new observables in the astrophysical and cosmological domains, spanning the early Universe to the inner portions of galaxies and the stars therein. Identifying the nature of dark matter will also entail repurposing and implementing a wide range of theoretical techniques from outside the typical toolkit of astrophysics, ranging from effective field theory to the dramatically evolving world of machine learning and artificial-intelligence-based statistical inference. Through this work, the theory frontier will be at the heart of dark matter discoveries in the upcoming decade.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Date accepted:20 June 2022
Date deposited:01 August 2022
Date of first online publication:22 June 2022
Date first made open access:01 August 2022

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