Aspects of Scalar Field Theory and the Dark Matter Problem
Sage, Fred Steven 1985-
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This thesis is comprised of research on the topic of particle dark matter phenomenology, with an emphasis on models in which a scalar field plays an important role. The dark matter problem is reviewed in Chapter 1, including the evidence that it is comprised of. Also included in Chapter 1 is an overview of the standard particle physics and quantum field theory that is used in the thesis. Chapter 2 is a discussion of the constraints on models of particle dark matter from observations of the abundance, assuming thermal production mechanisms in the early universe. The thermal constraints on scalar Higgs-portal dark matter are discussed as an example. The direct detection of dark matter through nuclear recoils is covered in Chapter 3, which provides an overview of the basic theory and a discussion of the various experiments and their reported and predicted results. Some discussion of the future of direct detection is included, as is the application of the techniques to the example case of scalar Higgs-portal dark matter. Chapter 4 contains some details about the indirect detection of dark matter through observation of the products of its annihilation in the galactic halo, primarily through the gamma ray channel. Several possible gamma ray targets are considered, including the galactic core, dwarf spheroidal galaxies, and searches for signals in the isotropic background. The Chapter closes with the usual example of scalar Higgs-portal dark matter. In Chapter 5 collider signatures of dark matter are discussed. After a lengthy review of collider physics, the basic techniques for placing bounds on dark matter models using collider data are discussed, and finally the scalar Higgs-portal model is discussed in the context of collider signals. Chapter 6 explores a theoretically motivated model of vector-portal fermionic dark matter, including collider bound on the vector mediator, thermal constraints on the dark matter particle based on abundance observations, and bound from direct and indirect detection. The theoretical background renders the phenomenology of the model exceptionally predictive, and the viability of the model given current observations is discussed. Chapter 7 contains some concluding remarks.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentPhysics and Engineering Physics
CommitteePywell, Rob; Bourassa, Adam; Ghezelbash, Masoud; Szmigielski, Jacek
Copyright DateJanuary 2019