The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a €2 million Consolidator Grant to UvA astrophysicist Christoph Weniger for the project 'UnDark – New Approaches to Uncover Dark Matter in the post-WIMP Era'.
The goal of the ERC project UnDark is to discover particle dark matter in the post-WIMP era. With the grant, Weniger will search for deviations from the cold dark matter paradigm by studying the dark matter distribution in the universe at the smallest scales. He will also search for anomalous emission from dark matter particles across the electromagnetic spectrum.
In the Undark project, Weniger will develop a ‘principled lampposts’ approach to systematically identify gaps in searches for a large number of dark matter models, and probe astrophysical hints for so-called sterile neutrino and axion dark matter, which are some of the most promising dark matter candidates next to the weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) that physicists and astronomers have been searching for. To this end, the project will leverage recent breakthroughs in computer science that enabled the deep learning revolution.