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Dwarf Galaxies as Astrophysical Laboratories Josh Simon

Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 11:15 to 12:30 Auditorium

The dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way are the oldest, least luminous, most dark matter-dominated, and least chemically evolved stellar systems known. To begin, I will provide a brief introduction to these galaxies, highlighting the recent discovery of large numbers of ultra-faint dwarf galaxies. I will then explain how we can measure their dark matter content and describe some of the numerous ways that dwarfs are being used to constrain the properties of dark matter. Finally, I will show how chemical abundance measurements of dwarf galaxy stars provided critical insight into r-process nucleosynthesis prior to the LIGO discovery of a neutron star merger.