Hi! I’m Andrew, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Institute for Computational Cosmology in Durham, trying to uncover the nature of Dark Matter
My research focusses on trying to infer the properties of Dark Matter using astrophysical observations. I am interested in whether or not dark matter particles interact with one another through forces other than just gravity, as well as what the mass of the smallest ‘lumps’ of dark matter can tell us about its nature. My work makes extensive use of large supercomputer simulations, in which I can choose the properties of dark matter particles and then see what such universes would look like. I also work on strong and weak gravitational lensing, which are techniques that allow us to map out the distribution of otherwise-invisible matter.
I grew up in Edinburgh, and then spent four years in Cambridge doing my BA and MSci in Experimental and Theoretical Physics. I then did my PhD at Durham University, with a thesis entitled The Cosmological Implications of Self-Interacting Dark Matter. I have remained in Durham as a postdoc, where as well as my own research, I enjoy supervising PhD students, and bringing Astrophysics to the public through outreach.
Although we believe that dark matter makes up almost 85% of all the mass in the Universe, we are still unsure of exactly what it is. Properties such as the mass of individual dark matter particles, and whether they can interact with ordinary matter or each other through forces other than just gravity remain unknown. My work involves using simulations to predict what impact different dark matter models would have on the Universe that we observe with our telescopes. I also use these simulations to test observational techniques that can be used to extract information about the Universe from observational data. You can see a full list of my publications here, or below are links to a few recent papers.
Pint of Science
3 Minute Thesis Competition
Galaxy Makers at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition
When I have some spare time I like to get outside and take photographs. You can see some of my best work here (whether or not it is any good I will leave up to you).
Department of Physics
South Rd, Durham