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Discoverable Matter: an Optimist’s View of Dark Matter and How to Find It

  • Author(s): Mcgehee Jr., Robert Stephen
  • Advisor(s): Murayama, Hitoshi
  • et al.
Abstract

An abundance of evidence from diverse cosmological times and scales demonstrates that

85% of the matter in the Universe is comprised of nonluminous, non-baryonic dark matter.

Discovering its fundamental nature has become one of the greatest outstanding problems

in modern science. Other persistent problems in physics have lingered for decades, among

them the electroweak hierarchy and origin of the baryon asymmetry. Little is known about

the solutions to these problems except that they must lie beyond the Standard Model. The

first half of this dissertation explores dark matter models motivated by their solution to

not only the dark matter conundrum but other issues such as electroweak naturalness and

baryon asymmetry. The latter half of this dissertation approaches the dark matter enigma

from a different vantage point inspired by the null results at dark matter direct detection

experiments. The theory community has explored alternative dark matter candidates and

production mechanisms while the experimental program has made progress on larger and

more sensitive experiments. In this dissertation, we take a complementary approach by

investigating signals of novel dark matter models which may have been overlooked in current

experiments.

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