The existence of dark matter (DM) has been inferred from its gravitational interactions, yet the identity of the dark matter particles remains completely unknown. The dominant candidate for DM over the last 30 years has been Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs). However, despite extensive underground (direct), telescope (indirect), and collider searches, dedicated experiments have not found any evidence of WIMPs. Meanwhile, several astrophysical small-scale structure and cosmological hints might be an indication that DM has non-gravitational interactions that cannot easily be explained with vanilla WIMPs.
This online workshop on the Less Travelled Path of Dark Matter (LTPDM) will bring together particle physicists and cosmologists from all over the world to address current trends in DM searches, focused on axions and primordial black holes, and map the way forward. The program will also include a school, with lectures addressed to students and postdocs, familiarizing them with new and advanced concepts.
We plan to have a longer physical workshop on dark matter, with a larger perspective, in the near future once the current global pandemic crisis has subsided.
In this sense, we would foster inclusiveness in the advancement of astronomy and facilitate the advancement of the next generation of astronomers and scientists, through encouragement of the use of new methods of learning and best practices (including distance education: Moocs) in pedagogy at university level, as well as the use of astronomy for teaching and education at school level, which are part of the definitions of the proposed Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE), which also pursuits the establishment of a Network of Astronomy Education Contacts (NAECs) to provide accessible materials and astronomy literacy guidelines globally. The invited speakers are international leaders in discipline-based education in astronomy and the planetary science, but also in communication, history, inclusion and protection of world’s heritage, including the dark sky.
As with most other sciences, astronomy is being fundamentally transformed by the Information and Computation Technology (ICT) revolution. The data volume is growing exponentially, can be accessed remotely and the observations can be performed even without a real knowledge of a telescope. The new approaches to the data permits the development of new tools, techniques and resources for data analysis and produce discoveries which probably never would be reached with traditional astronomy data analysis period.
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