Dynamical dark matter (DDM) is a new framework for dark-matter physics in which the dark sector comprises an ensemble of individual component fields which collectively conspire to act in ways that transcend those normally associated with dark matter. Because of its nontrivial structure, this DDM ensemble-unlike most traditional dark-matter candidates-cannot be characterized in terms of a single mass, decay width, or set of scattering cross sections, but must instead be described by parameters which describe the collective behavior of its constituents. Likewise, the components of such an ensemble need not be stable so long as lifetimes are balanced against cosmological abundances across the ensemble as a whole. In this paper, we investigate the prospects for identifying a DDM ensemble at the LHC and for distinguishing such a dark-matter candidate from the candidates characteristic of traditional dark-matter models. In particular, we focus on DDM scenarios in which the component fields of the ensemble are produced at colliders alongside some number of standard-model particles via the decays of additional heavy fields. The invariant-mass distributions of these standard-model particles turn out to possess several unique features that cannot be replicated in most traditional dark-matter models. We demonstrate that in many situations it is possible to differentiate between a DDM ensemble and a traditional dark-matter candidate on the basis of such distributions. Moreover, many of our results also apply more generally to a variety of other extensions of the standard model which involve multiple stable or metastable neutral particles.
|Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
|Published - Sep 7 2012
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)