Light Moduli: Applications to Dark Matter and Baryogenesis

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Moduli fields with Planck suppressed couplings to light species are ubiquitous in string theory and supersymmetry. These scalar fields are expected to dominate the energy budget in the early universe. Their out-of-equilibrium decays can produce dark matter and baryons. Dark matter generated in this non-thermal manner typically has large annihilation rates that are strongly constrained by indirect detection. The resulting bounds on superpartner masses offer dim prospects for collider discovery of supersymmetry. We will discuss extensions of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) that allow low scale supersymmetry accessible by direct searches, while being consistent with astrophysical and cosmological probes. The tension with indirect searches is most easily relieved by allowing the lightest MSSM superpartner to decay into new stable states that play the role of dark matter. We examine the viability of this scenario in models with light Abelian and non-Abelian hidden sectors, and asymmetric dark matter. This latter possibility has a natural connection to theories of baryogenesis.