67 research outputs found

    Boosting (In)direct Detection of Dark Matter

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    In this thesis, I study the expected direct and indirect detection signals of dark matter. More precisely, I study three aspects of dark matter; I use hydrodynamic simulations to extract properties of weakly interacting dark matter that are relevant for both direct and indirect detection signals, and construct viable dark matter models with interesting experimental signatures. First, I analyze the full scale Illustris simulation, and find that Galactic indirect detection signals are expected to be largely symmetric, while extragalactic signals are not, due to recent mergers and the presence of substructure. Second, through the study of the high resolution Milky Way simulation Eris, I find that metal-poor halo stars can be used as tracers for the dark matter velocity distribution. I use the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to obtain the first empirical velocity distribution of dark matter, which weakens the expected direct detection limits by up to an order of magnitude at masses 10\lesssim 10 GeV. Finally, I expand the weakly interacting dark matter paradigm by proposing a new dark matter model called boosted dark matter. This novel scenario contains a relativistic component with interesting hybrid direct and indirect detection signatures at neutrino experiments. I propose two search strategies for boosted dark matter, at Cherenkov-based experiments and future liquid-argon neutrino detectors.Comment: PhD Thesis, MIT, May 2017. 178 Pages, 40 Figure

    Dark Matter, Shared Asymmetries, and Galactic Gamma Ray Signals

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    We introduce a novel dark matter scenario where the visible sector and the dark sector share a common asymmetry. The two sectors are connected through an unstable mediator with baryon number one, allowing the standard model baryon asymmetry to be shared with dark matter via semi-annihilation. The present-day abundance of dark matter is then set by thermal freeze-out of this semi-annihilation process, yielding an asymmetric version of the WIMP miracle as well as promising signals for indirect detection experiments. As a proof of concept, we find a viable region of parameter space consistent with the observed Fermi excess of GeV gamma rays from the galactic center.Comment: 20+12 pages, 11 figures, 1 table; v2: references added, minor corrections to CMB bounds; v3: footnotes added for clarification, updated appendix A, conclusions unchanged, version to appear in JCA

    Distorted Neutrino Oscillations From Ultralight Scalar Dark Matter

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    Cold, ultralight (\ll eV) bosonic dark matter with a misalignment abundance can induce temporal variation in the masses and couplings of Standard Model particles. We find that fast variations in neutrino oscillation parameters can lead to significantly distorted neutrino oscillations (DiNOs) and yield striking signatures at long baseline experiments. We study several representative observables to demonstrate this effect and find that current and future experiments including DUNE and JUNO are sensitive to a wide range of viable scalar parameters over many decades in mass reach.Comment: 5+2 pages, 4 figures , 2 appendice

    (In)direct Detection of Boosted Dark Matter

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    We initiate the study of novel thermal dark matter (DM) scenarios where present-day annihilation of DM in the galactic center produces boosted stable particles in the dark sector. These stable particles are typically a subdominant DM component, but because they are produced with a large Lorentz boost in this process, they can be detected in large volume terrestrial experiments via neutral-current-like interactions with electrons or nuclei. This novel DM signal thus combines the production mechanism associated with indirect detection experiments (i.e. galactic DM annihilation) with the detection mechanism associated with direct detection experiments (i.e. DM scattering off terrestrial targets). Such processes are generically present in multi-component DM scenarios or those with non-minimal DM stabilization symmetries. As a proof of concept, we present a model of two-component thermal relic DM, where the dominant heavy DM species has no tree-level interactions with the standard model and thus largely evades direct and indirect DM bounds. Instead, its thermal relic abundance is set by annihilation into a subdominant lighter DM species, and the latter can be detected in the boosted channel via the same annihilation process occurring today. Especially for dark sector masses in the 10 MeV-10 GeV range, the most promising signals are electron scattering events pointing toward the galactic center. These can be detected in experiments designed for neutrino physics or proton decay, in particular Super-K and its upgrade Hyper-K, as well as the PINGU/MICA extensions of IceCube. This boosted DM phenomenon highlights the distinctive signatures possible from non-minimal dark sectors.Comment: 40 pages, 11 figures, 1 table; v2: references added, appendix B revised; v3: improved presentation of signal/background, added section 4.4 on earth attenuation, version to appear in JCAP; v4: typos fixed, appendix B bounds weakened, conclusions unchange