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Studying Dynamical Friction on the Large Magellanic Cloud as a Dark Matter Probe

Presentation #105.03 in the session “Dynamics of Dark Matter”.

Published onJun 01, 2021
Studying Dynamical Friction on the Large Magellanic Cloud as a Dark Matter Probe

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is on its first infall within the Milky Way’s (MW) dark matter (DM) halo. The LMC will induce a trailing overdensity (DM wake) in the MW’s DM distribution, which will cause the LMC’s orbit to decay through dynamical friction. This scenario presents a unique opportunity to probe the nature of DM. In particular, the microphysics of the DM particle will affect the strength of the density field of the wake and the response of the MW’s stellar halo. Simulations of the formation of the LMC’s wake using different models for DM physics will therefore provide a valuable tool for constraining DM models when compared to observations of the MW’s stellar halo. As a first step to creating such a simulation suite, my collaborators and I have developed the DM_Windtunnel module for the Arepo code, which allows us to study the formation of the wake with windtunnel-style N-body simulations. I will present early results from the testing and implementation of this module in the cold dark matter paradigm.


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