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Astronomy Colloquium

Wednesday, February 16, 2022
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Online Event
Stress-Testing the Cold Dark Matter Paradigm
Priyamvada (Priya) Natarajan, Professor of Astronomy, Department of Astronomy and Physics, Yale University,

Observations of structure formation and assembly over a range of physical (Gpc to pc) and temporal (109-103 yr) scales have been successfully accounted for by the concordance cosmological model comprising cold dark matter (CDM) and a cosmological constant. Recently, however, tensions have emerged in the two key directions: from the discordant (now at the 5-sigma level) measurements of the Hubble parameter and from the order of magnitude discrepancy in strong lensing cross-sections on small-scales in galaxy clusters. While several crises on small-scales in CDM reported in the past stand resolved, this new one intriguingly persists. In this talk, I focus on this new gnawing gap between the observed and theoretically predicted galaxy-galaxy strong lensing cross-sections inferred from the small-scale lensing properties of cluster member galaxies. The implications of this mis-match and potential resolutions, both within the standard cold dark matter paradigm and beyond will be discussed.

To view this talk on YouTube, please visit:

For more information, please contact Jim Fuller by email at [email protected] or visit