A preponderance of astrophysical and cosmological evidence indicates that the universe contains not only visible matter but also dark matter. In order to suppress the couplings between the dark and visible sectors, a standard assumption is that these two sectors communicate only through a mediator. In this paper we make a simple but important observation: If the dark sector contains multiple components with similar quantum numbers, then this mediator also generically gives rise to dark-sector decays, with heavier dark components decaying to lighter components. This in turn can even give rise to relatively long dark decay chains, with each step of the decay chain also producing visible matter. The visible byproducts of such mediator-induced decay chains can therefore serve as a unique signature of such scenarios. In order to investigate this possibility more concretely, we examine a scenario in which a multicomponent dark sector is connected through a mediator to Standard-Model quarks. We then demonstrate that such a scenario gives rise to multijet collider signatures, and we examine the properties of such jets at both the parton and detector levels. Within relatively large regions of parameter space, we find that such multijet signatures are not excluded by existing monojet and multijet searches. Such decay cascades therefore represent a potential discovery route for multicomponent dark sectors at current and future colliders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)