Talks by Scott Watson
Within the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM), LHC bounds suggest that scalar superpartner masses are far above the electroweak scale. Given a high superpartner mass, nonthermal dark matter is a viable alternative to WIMP dark matter generated via freezeout. In the presence of moduli fields nonthermal dark matter production is associated with a long matter dominated phase, modifying the spectral index and primordial tensor amplitude relative to those in a thermalized primordial universe.
In this talk I will present evidence that accounting for the presence of hierarchies in string compactifications naturally leads to a UV sensitivity of dark matter in contrast to what is usually assumed. In particular, we will see that the existence of cosmological moduli may lead to a non-thermal history for the early universe and modifications in the primordial production of dark matter.
Inflationary cosmology provides a causal mechanism for the generation of super-Hubble cosmological fluctuations. There have been many alternative proposals suggested to accomplish this feat, however these all seem to share the need to violate at least the Null Energy Condition. I will attempt to make this statement more precise, and focusing on the case of string motivated models that contain a gravi-scalar in their spectrum (such as the string theoretic dilaton) we will find a "no-go" theorem.
One of the most compelling hints for physics beyond the standard model is the cosmological observation that nearly a quarter of our universe consists of cold dark matter. In the next few years, LHC shows the promise of producing these elusive particles and possibly measuring their microscopic properties. This will be challenging, per se, and using LHC observations to reconstruct a complete theory of cosmological dark matter could prove quite challenging. In this talk I will discuss the prospects and many challenges facing such a program.