A theoretical perspective on dark matter

Evidence for dark matter can be traced back to very high redshifts, when the Universe was relatively simple. This simplicity motivates physicists to think that dark matter may be another form of stable elementary particles. Among a large variety of choices for dark matter one stands out: weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs. They offer a concrete pathway for their discovery, and the last two decades have been spent in their pursuit. I will describe how WIMPs may fit into the structure of modern particle theory, how modern experiments help to narrow the number of theoretical possibilities, and how this pursuit may lead to other serendipitous discoveries of new phenomena beyond standard paradigms.

The speaker

Prof. Maxim Pospelov obtained his PhD in 1994 at the Novosibirsk Budker Institute (Advisor Iosif Khriplovich). He held postdoctoral positions at Quebec University in Montreal (NATO Science fellow), at the University of Minnesota, and as an advanced PPARC fellow (5yr position) at the University of Sussex. Since 2002 he is Professor at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and a member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Ontario, since 2004. From 2004-2005 he was professor at Guelph. His contributions span many areas of modern particle physics. He worked on symmetry tests of the Standard Model, especially the calculations of electric dipole moments in the Standard Model and its extensions, including the QCD aspects of the problem. He has written one of the first papers on the Higgs portal dark matter, and its signatures. He has also many contributions to the work on dark sectors, including suggestions of novel ways to search for light weakly interacting particles.