Project Overview

Astrophysical objects as Dark Matter probes

Faculty Sponsor

Cosmin Ilie (


Physics and Astronomy


Dark matter is one of the the most intriguing open questions in science today. While it's gravitational effects are abundant, and can be used to explain anomalous stellar rotation curves in galaxies, amongst other things, we don't yet know anything about its fundamental nature, or how strongly it interacts with regular matter, such as protons. Via this project students will have a chance to contribute, in significant ways, towards advancing our undestanding of dark matter. Specifically, we will look into how to use the observable effects dark matter traped inside celestial bodies in order to pin down specific particle properties of dark matter, such as the strenght of its interactions with protons, for example. The projeect combines work of theoretical nature, with numerical/computational work. Ultimatelly, the predictions we make will be tested with upcoming telescopes, such as the James Webb Space Telscope. 

Student Qualifications

Proficency with Pyton or willingness to devote time to learn it. Faimiliarity with basic numerical methods. Strong interest in cosmology and/or astrophysics with some prior basic knowledge preffered. 

Number of Student Researchers

3 students

Project Length

8 weeks

Applications open on 01/03/2022 and close on 02/04/2022

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (