New Perspectives on Dark Matter

The existence of dark matter (DM) has been established through its gravitational interactions with its surroundings today and in the early Universe. Many questions remain. What is the dark matter mass? Does it consist  of a single type of particle or many? How does it interact with standard model particles beyond gravity? Does this interaction involve yet to be discovered forces? What is the dark matter's place in a grander description of particle physics? The mystery of dark matter is one of the central questions facing physics today.

These important questions are being addressed through several experimental efforts, particularly direct, indirect and collider searches. The focus of our workshop will be on existing and on new directions for searching for dark matter directly in the lab. Direct detection looks for galactic dark matter through low energy DM-nucleus scatterings. Traditional searches focus on weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) and cover a mass range above a few GeV and cross sections at the range of 10-40 to 10-45 cm2. Several new ideas have been recently proposed to broaden the search for dark matter beyond the WIMP hypothesis. The workshop will review existing and new avenues for DM searches and focus on the interplay between them.

Fermilab is a central hub for particle physics and several direct detection experiments are based at Fermilab and in the Chicago area. Fermilab is also particularly relevant for this workshop since several of the new ideas proposed for dark matter searches are related to the future experimental program in the lab. In particular we will focus on searches for light dark matter using beam-dump type setups, including short baseline neutrino experiments. Including a broader dark matter program into the future suite of Project X experiments can enhance the impact of future research at the lab.

The Organisers

Brian Batell (U Chicago)

Patrick Fox (FNAL)

Roni Harnik (FNAL)


April 28 - May 2, 2014