While each of the paradigms of dark matter and inflation have become part of the standard model of cosmology, complete mathematical descriptions of them remain elusive. I will present results concerning density distributions predicted by models of dark matter and inflation. In each case, theoretical models differ in the small-scale structure they predict, providing predictions that can be tested.
In ultralight dark matter (ULDM), wavelike effects smooth dark matter distributions on sub-galactic scales. I will present simulations of ULDM and show how its dynamics and small-scale structure are affected by interactions and the existence of multiple species of dark matter.
Finally, I will turn to the formation of overdensities during the reheating epoch, during which the Universe must transition from primordial inflation to Big Bang nucleosynthesis. I will show how reheating in the early Universe is analogous to dark matter structure formation in the late Universe and tools developed for ULDM can be repurposed to shed light on the dynamics of reheating. This will enable predictions of the amount of inflation required, gravitational wave spectra, and the population of primordial black holes.
The McDonald Institute seminar will be held in Stirling 501. A zoom link is also available and was shared via email from Aaron Vincent. Please reach out to him to get access.