Measurement of detector-corrected observables sensitive to the anomalous production of events with jets and large missing transverse momentum in pp collisions at √s=13 TeV using the ATLAS detector
Journal: European Physical Journal C
Publication Date: 15 November, 2017
Department of: Physics and Astronomy
New approaches in the search for dark matter
This research presents a new search for dark matter (DM), an unknown substance which is thought to make up 85% of all the matter in our Universe. This measurement was made studying data from high-energy proton–proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider collected using the ATLAS detector, led by researchers at the University of Manchester.
Various theories predict that DM should be produced in these collisions, but DM itself would be invisible to our detectors. Its presence must therefore be observed through measurement of the rate of visible particles also produced in the collision that recoil against the DM.
A novel feature of this research is that the experimental measurement is designed to be independent of the specific features of the DM model under test. The results of the search are also published corrected for the efficiency and resolution effects of the detector for the first time, enabling the reinterpretation of the data in terms of other theories with invisible particles in the future.
To show the power of this approach, three DM theories are tested against the data: where DM interacts via either the strong force, the weak force, or via the Higgs boson. No evidence of DM is found but the new measurements are competitive or exceed the sensitivity of existing dedicated searches. In fact, this research provides the most stringent constraints on one particular DM theory, being ten times more sensitive than constraints determined using telescope- and space-based DM observatories.
- Astrophysical observations including galaxy formation, gravitational lensing and the measurement of the cosmic microwave background strongly support the conclusion that dark matter makes up 85% of mass of our Universe but dark matter has yet to be conclusively observed.
- There are three main approaches to the search for and study of dark matter: detecting excess high-energy known particles produced in the annihilation of dark matter in space (“indirect”); detecting the interaction of a dark matter particle with nuclei in a dedicated particle detector (“direct”); or producing dark matter in high energy collisions in the laboratory (“collider”).
- Dark matter is actually invisible to our particle detectors, so if and when it is produced in high-energy collisions physicists must infer its presence from observing visible known particles recoiling against something invisible.