Astrophysical Probes for New Physics
A key aspect of my work in astrophysics focuses on identifying the nature of the dark matter. Our understanding of the formation of dark matter halos in the Universe has improved to the degree that we are able to place constraints on the microscopic properties of the dark matter through the (macroscopic) shapes of dark matter halos. This happens when the dark matter has self-interactions that affect the way structure forms in the Universe. I have been exploring the dynamics of self-interacting dark matter. These theories of self-interacting dark matter go hand in hand with the exotic signatures I have studied in terrestrial experiments.
Stars are also probes of fundamental physics, as has long been recognized. These days we are continuing to find new and exotic applications of our understanding of stellar theory to fundamental physics. For example, dark matter with a primordial particle antiparticle asymmetry may collect in the center of a neutron star and cause the formation of a black hole.