A Light Dark Side - Yonit Hochberg, Berkeley

Mon, Jan 25, 2016, 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Jadwin 303
The exploration of dark matter beyond the WIMP is of vital importance towards resolving the identity of dark matter. Focusing on light dark matter, I will demonstrate this from two perspectives. From the theory side, I will present a new candidate for thermal dark matter in the form of Strongly Interacting Massive Particles (SIMPs). The freezeout process is a number-changing 3-to-2 annihilation in the dark sector, and points to sub-GeV dark matter. I will show how the mechanism is realized in simple classes of QCD-like theories, where the pions play the role of dark matter, and will describe current and future experimental signatures of the setup in direct- and indirect-detection, colliders, structure formation and cosmology. From the experimental side, I will present a new class of superconducting detectors which are sensitive to milli-eV electron recoils from dark matter-electron scattering. Such devices could detect dark matter as light as the warm dark matter limit of a keV with a moderate size exposure.