CE31 - Physique subatomique et astrophysique

Galaxy rotation curves as DARK matter laboratory – DARK

Submission summary

The Universe’s matter content is dominated by a non-visible dark matter (DM). This concept of DM became part of mainstream research only in the 1970s, from the remarkable flat rotation curves (RC) of galaxies. The scientific objectives for this project are to study the DM content of young distant galaxies from their rotation curves, to determine the shape of DM profiles and the evolution of their properties with redshift and/or the relation to the galaxy properties under various frameworks such as Cold DM, self-interacting DM, or fuzzy axion-like DM. Hence, this program could potentially bring new constraints on alternative models of DM. More specifically, we will study the DM profiles (cores vs. cusp) and the statistical viability of these DM models on a large sample made of several hundred distant galaxies. From an observational perspective, rotation curves are still the best tool to constrain the properties of DM halos in galaxies. But this is extremely difficult beyond the local universe because the outskirts of galaxies become very faint quickly. Thanks to a technological breakthrough, our team has recently demonstrated in very few cases that the DM content of distant galaxies with intermediate mass can be performed in individual galaxies. Thanks to several large programs with MUSE on the VLT, our team will be able to perform this type of study (namely disk/halo decomposition) on several hundreds of individual rotation curves of distant galaxies. In addition, our team is made of experts with complementary expertise necessary for this project, such as observers and theoreticians, experts on stellar kinematics and gas kinematics and experts on gravitational lensing to better study the RCs in the central regions. With this project, we will use state-of-the-art hydrodynamical simulations to further validate the methodology and test its limitations.

Project coordination

Nicolas BOUCHE (Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CRAL Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
CRAL Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1
AIP Leibniz institute fur Astrophysik (Postdam)

Help of the ANR 324,326 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: March 2023 - 48 Months

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