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Fake Dark Matter At Colliders

Paper by de Gouvea and Chang

Abstract If the dark matter (DM) consists of a weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP), it can be produced and studied at future collider experiments like those at the LHC. The production of collider-stable WIMPs is characterized by hard scattering events with large missing transverse energy. Here we point out that the discovery of this well-characterized DM signal may turn out to be a red herring. We explore an alternative explanation -- fake dark matter -- where the only sources of missing transverse energy are standard model neutrinos. We present examples of such models, focusing on supersymmetric models with R-parity violation. We also briefly discuss means of differentiating fake dark matter from the production of new collider-stable particles.

  • Any new physics model that leads tothe non standard production of neutrinos can potentially fake the DM signal.
  • The FDM scenarios we wish to study fall into two distinct classes
    • In the first class, depicted in Fig. 1(top-right), the phenomenology is very similar to the WIMP cascade-case, but the LSP is replaced by a neutrino. Thus the neutrino plays the role of what looks like the true LSP. The first class is more prevalent in the theoretical literature, and provides the most handles as far as disentangling fake from real dark matter.
    • In the second class, depicted in Fig. 1(bottom- right), there is a potential LSP candidate that is unstable and decays into a number of neutrinos within collider time scales. On the other hand, the second class seems to be rarer but is potentially more difficult to debunk.
  • Our first requirement for FDM is that the new physics should not lead to too many events with little or no missing energy. This eliminates, for example, scenarios where new particles cascade-decay to SM particles through W or Z bosons and the source of large EmissT are neutrinos from W/Z -boson decays.
  • The other of our FDM requirements is the absence of displaced vertices.

-- MonicaDunford - 01 May 2009
Topic revision: r4 - 16 Sep 2009, MonicaDunford
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