Rotation curve measurements from the 1970s provided the first strong indication that a significant fraction of matter in the Universe is non-baryonic. In the intervening years, a tremendous amount of progress has been made on both the theoretical and experimental fronts in the search for this missing matter, which we now know constitutes nearly 85% of the Universe's matter density. These series of lectures provide an introduction to the basics of dark matter physics. They are geared for the advanced undergraduate or graduate student interested in pursuing research in high-energy physics. The primary goal is to build an understanding of how observations constrain the assumptions that can be made about the astro- and particle physics properties of dark matter. The lectures begin by delineating the basic assumptions that can be inferred about dark matter from rotation curves. A detailed discussion of thermal dark matter follows, motivating Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, as well as lighter-mass alternatives. As an application of these concepts, the phenomenology of direct and indirect detection experiments is discussed in detail.
New Frontiers in Fields and Strings (TASI 2015
- Pub Date:
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- 46 pages, 13 figures, TASI lecture notes