Particle Physics

This series consists of talks in the areas of Particle Physics, High Energy Physics & Quantum Field Theory.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.

 

Friday Mar 04, 2011
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I discuss how the results of dark matter experiments can be used to draw conclusions about the nature of WIMP dark matter that are to a large extent model-independent. Specifically, I show that combining the results of direct detection experiments with data from neutrino telescopes can help establish whether the dark matter particle is its own anti-particle. I go on to discuss how limits on the diffuse and line spectra obtained from gamma ray telescopes can be used to constrain the annihilation modes of dark matter.

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Friday Feb 18, 2011
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There are good reasons to think that our understanding of particle physics is incomplete. The effective field theory describing the particles that we know about breaks down at the TeV scale, and new effective degrees of freedom must enter. In this talk I will discuss the role that strong dynamics might play in this new physics, focusing on the ways in which approximately scale-invariant dynamics could explain puzzling features of our low-energy Lagrangian.

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Wednesday Feb 16, 2011
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What lies beyond the Standard Model of particle physics? Are there very weakly interacting forms of matter and forces waiting to be discovered? In this talk I will describe some of the efforts underway to detect very weakly interacting particles, from dark matter to new forces. I will discuss recent observations and their theoretical significance as well as the connection to other experimental results. I will conclude with a short summary of the different frontiers and their interrelations.

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Tuesday Feb 15, 2011
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We show that ordinary and radiative muon capture impose stringent constraints on sterile neutrino properties. In particular, we consider a sterile neutrino with a mass between $40$ and $80~{\rm MeV}$ that has a large mixing with the muon neutrino and decays predominantly into a photon and light neutrinos due to a large transition magnetic moment. Such a model was suggested as a possible resolution to the puzzle presented by the results of the LSND, KARMEN, and MiniBooNE experiments.

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Friday Feb 11, 2011
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Although the fact that a large fraction of the matter in the universe is non-baryonic is beyond doubt, the exact composition of the dark matter is still shrouded in mystery. Using ultra-sensitive detectors in the deep underground laboratories, physicists are attempting to directly detect dark matter particles streaming from space. At colliders, physicists hope to manufacture large numbers of dark matter particles and study their properties. I will first use an effective field theory approach to demonstrate the power of colliders by comparing these two approaches.

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Wednesday Feb 09, 2011
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A new force mediated by a new vector boson with mass in the MeV to GeV range and with very weak coupling to ordinary matter appears naturally in many theoretical models and could also explain a variety of observed anomalies. Such anomalies include the discrepancy between the predicted and the experimentally observed value for the muon anomalous magnetic moment, and recent cosmic-ray data that can be explained by dark matter interacting through this force with ordinary matter. This talk will review the motivation for such a force and present a broad array of probes of this physics.

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Friday Feb 04, 2011
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Gamma-ray production by dark matter annihilation is one of the most universal indirect dark matter signals. In order to avoid intensive astrophysical background, one can study the gamma-rays away from the Galactic plane. The problems is that the dark matter annihilation signal at high latitudes is smooth and most probably subdominant to Galactic and extragalactic fluxes. I will discuss the use of spherical harmonics decomposition as a tool to distinguish a large scale small amplitude dark matter signal from astrophysical fluxes.

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Tuesday Feb 01, 2011
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I discuss a new scenario called Hylogenesis (hylo=matter) that
explains the baryon and dark matter densities of Universe in a unified
way. Early universe dynamics generate the baryon asymmetry and an equal
antibaryon asymmetry in a GeV-scale hidden sector. The hidden antibaryons
are dark matter. Our model has a striking signature that dark matter can
annihilate baryons, mimicking nucleon decay. I discuss the effective
nucleon decay rates and implications for existing nucleon decay searches.

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Friday Jan 21, 2011
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Recent observations first made in string theory led to the realization that introducing various ``deformations" (finite volume, appropriate

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