|2022 Spring Physics Colloquium Series|
Dr. Andrew Whitbeck
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Texas Tech University
Terrestrial experiments on Dark Matter: How particle accelerators can help us understand the nature of Dark Matter and the physics of its origin story
The Standard Model (SM) of particle physics is one of the most successful theories in science and has
motivated experiments for decades. However, it has
long been known that the current matter content of
the SM cannot explain the majority of matter we
observe in the universe, a feebly interacting form of matter we call Dark Matter (DM). Understanding the particle nature of DM, its interactions, and how it fits more generally into an extended version of the SM are some of the most pressing issues in particle physics. Using accelerators to produce DM in terrestrial experiments offers unique opportunities to measure DM's particle nature and identify the physics involved in its origin story.
First, I'll briefly review the astrophysical evidence pointing to the existence of
DM. I'll describe a simple, predictive theory in which DM is a thermal relic of
the early universe to help guide experiments. I'll show some results from my
recent work on searches for DM at the LHC, which should help constrain
theories of thermal relic dark matter. Finally, I'll offer a perspective on DM
searches on the horizon and the detector developments necessary to build a
comprehensive program for testing the thermal paradigm.
For more information contact: Dr. Kenichi Hatakeyama, 254-710-2286.