This Week at Physics

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This Week at Physics

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Events on Friday, April 18th, 2014

Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
New Limits on Light Hidden Sectors from Fixed-Target Experiments
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Andrew Spray, University of Melbourne
Abstract: New physics can be light if it is hidden, coupling very weakly to the Standard Model. In this work we investigate the discovery prospects of Abelian hidden sectors in lower-energy fixed-target and high-precision experiments. We focus on a minimal supersymmetric realization consisting of an Abelian vector multiplet, coupled to hypercharge by kinetic mixing, and a pair of chiral Higgs multiplets. This simple theory can give rise to a broad range of experimental signals, including both commonly-studied patterns of hidden vector decay as well as new and distinctive hidden sector cascades. We find limits from the production of hidden states other than the vector itself. In particular, we show that if the hidden Abelian symmetry is higgsed, and the corresponding hidden Higgs boson has visible decays, it severely restricts the ability of the hidden sector to explain the anomalous muon magnetic moment.
Host: Jordi Salvadó Serra
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Physics Department Colloquium
New Physics from the Sky: Cosmic Rays, Gamma Rays and the Hunt for Dark Matter
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 4:30 pm)
Speaker: Stefano Profumo , UC Santa Cruz
Abstract: Can we learn about New Physics with astronomical and astro-particle data? Understanding how this is possible is key to unraveling one of the most pressing mysteries at the interface of cosmology and particle physics: the fundamental nature of dark matter. I will discuss some of the recent puzzling findings in cosmic-ray electron-positron data and in gamma-ray observations that might be related to dark matter. I will argue that cosmic-ray data, most notably from the AMS, Pamela and Fermi satellites, indicate that previously unaccounted-for powerful sources in the Galaxy inject high-energy electrons and positrons. Interestingly, this new source class might be related to new fundamental particle physics, and specifically to pair-annihilation or decay of galactic dark matter. This exciting scenario is directly constrained by Fermi gamma-ray observations, which also inform us on astrophysical source counterparts that could be responsible for the high-energy electron-positron excess. Observations of the gamma-ray emission from the central regions of the Galaxy as well as claims about a gamma-ray line at around 130 GeV also recently triggered a wide-spread interest: I will address the question of whether we are really observing signals from dark matter annihilation, how to test this hypothesis, and which astrophysical mechanisms constitute the relevant background.
Host: Chung
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