SMWLV and Dark Matter Science

"Dark matter constitutes roughly 85% of the matter density of the Universe, and represents a critical gap in our understanding of fundamental physics.

Despite these extensive experimental efforts, the only robust, positive empirical measurement of dark matter continues to come from cosmological and astrophysical observations."

Hi everyone,

As you likely know, the DESC initiated a cross-collaboration initiative to explore and organize how LSST would be able to contribute to study Dark Matter - see

There is a wealth of SMWLV science that touches on the Dark Matter issue, for example see the presentations made at the recent LSST Dark Matter Workshop:

Also, during this week’s joint TVS-SMWLV workshop at the University of Delaware ( we began a discussion between these two SCs concerning Dark Matter science.

In order to provide a cross-collaboration interface with DESC, TVS, and others, it would be useful to summarize the current set of Dark Matter related science that SMWLV members are actively working on (or planning on working on).

Besides the usual identification information, please provide a brief description of your science, the resources you have, and the resources you need.


@pmmcgehee Thanks for this call. Within DESC I am interested in the local volume, especially dwarf galaxies and stellar streams. I did not apply to the SMWLV collaboration yet, perhaps I should… Anyway, it would be useful to provide some information about where Dark Matter topic lives within the SMWLV working groups : both in “Near-Field Cosmology” and “Local structure and ISM” (see

@johannct Certainly DM lives in both of those science working groups, and in the variable studies as well - there’s an overlap with TVS. Looking into the original (2013 era) SMWLV roadmap documents one only finds dark matter mentioned in the Near Field Cosmology contribution.

This is an apt time to revisit and perhaps revise the science goals identified by each science working group. Hence the call out to the community.

Best regards,

Hi @pmmcgehee,

I’ll take this opportunity to advertise the documents that summarize our community effort to describe some of the dark matter science topics possible with LSST. The long version is on the arXiv here (~100 pages):

and the shorter version submitted to Astro2020 is here (5 pages + refs etc.):


@kadrlica thank you… these are valuable references.