The impact of model realism on interpretations of the Galactic Center Excess

March 27, 2023
3:00pm to 4:00pm

IFT Seminar Room/Red Room

Theoretical Physics, general interest
Christopher Eckner

IFT Seminar Room/Red Room


More than a decade has passed since a GeV gamma-ray excess in Fermi-LAT data above known astrophysical backgrounds has been detected in the Galactic center region. The origin of this Galactic Center Excess (GCE) remains a topic of scientific debate. The leading hypotheses explaining its nature are a population of faint and unresolved millisecond pulsars (MSPs) or dark matter (DM) annihilation. Since the majority of the previously reported interpretations of this excess are highly dependent on the simulation, how does the model used for the simulation affect the interpretations? Are such uncertainties taken into account? When different models lead to different conclusions, there may be a general gap between these simulations and reality that influences our conclusions. In this talk, I will briefly summarize the status of the GCE and highlight the assumptions underlying the different interpretations reported in the past. Then, I will present the results of a novel, ultra-fast and powerful inference pipeline based on convolutional deep ensemble networks that aims to answer the question about the background model's impact on the final interpretation in terms of MSPs and DM.