Discovery Colloquium – University of Copenhagen

Discovery Colloquium

Speaker: John March Russell, Oxford U.

Title: The Dark Sector Challenges New Physics Searches

Abstract: The last 15 years have witnessed the discovery of cosmic acceleration, and ever-increasing support for the existence of cold dark matter with a density ~5 times baryon density. I explain why these developments strongly motivate alternatives to the conventional "freeze-out" production mechanism of Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) dark matter possessing a richer set of dark sector states and forces, particularly the existence of Asymmetric Dark Matter. This new dynamics can change or invalidate many of the classic missing transverse energy signatures of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model at the LHC, but can lead to striking new collider signatures, such as events with highly displaced vertices apparently violating lepton- or baryon-number. I argue that a combination of collider and precision experiments may be able to directly explore the mechanism of simultaneous dark matter- and baryo-genesis. The new dynamics of the dark sector can pose challenges for dark matter direct detection experiments, but also leads to new astrophysical and cosmological signatures, and possibilities for indirect dark matter detection.