SciPost Phys. Lect. Notes 37 (2022) ·
published 25 January 2022
These lecture notes aim to provide an introduction to dark matter from the
perspective of astrophysics/cosmology. We start with a rapid overview of
cosmology, including the evolution of the Universe, its thermal history and
structure formation. Then we look at the observational evidence for dark
matter, from observations of galaxies, galaxy clusters, the anisotropies in the
cosmic microwave background radiation and large scale structure. To detect dark
matter we need to know how it's distributed, in particular in the Milky Way, so
next we overview relevant results from numerical simulations and observations.
Finally, we conclude by looking at what astrophysical and cosmological
observations can tell us about the nature of dark matter, focusing on two
particular cases: warm and self-interacting dark matter.