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Durham University

Centre for Particle Theory

Astroparticle Physics

8 Lectures Dr D. Cerdeno

In this course we will concentrate on the problem of dark matter in the Universe, one of the clearest hints for new Physics beyond the Standard Model. We will begin by summarising the astrophysical and cosmological observations that evidence the need for a new (and abundant) type of matter in the Universe that does not emit or absorb light. Then, the production of dark matter in the Early Universe will be studied, computing its relic abundance. We will observe that a generic massive particle with Electroweak interactions (WIMP) can reproduce the observed dark matter density. We will then investigate various particle physics models that can accommodate dark matter candidates. Finally, the detection of dark matter particles will be addressed. We will describe the main detection strategies (direct, indirect and in colliders), review the current experimental situation and future prospects.

Outline of the course

Motivation for dark matter: rotation curves of spiral galaxies, Virial Theorem in Galaxy Clusters, Cosmological Evidence.
Dark matter production: thermal equilibrium and freeze out in the Early Universe, relic density of dark matter, hot and cold dark matter, the WIMP paradigm.
Dark Matter Candidates: candidates in extensions of the Standard Model, non-WIMP candidates.
Dark Matter Searches: direct detection experiments, indirect searches, dark matter in colliders.

Books and articles for the course

E.W. Kolb and M.S. Turner, The Early Universe, Westview Press (1994).
G. Bertone, D. Hooper and J. Silk, Particle dark matter: Evidence, candidates and constraints, Phys. Rept. {405} (2005) 279 (hep-ph/0404175).
G. Bertone, Particle Dark Matter: Observations, Models and Searches, Cambridge University Press, Ed. G. Bertone (2010).