Felix Kahlhoefer - Oxford

Felix Kahlhoefer
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Felix Kahlhoefer
United Kingdom

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (34)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (16)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (12)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (2)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Felix Kahlhoefer

Dark matter particles interacting via the exchange of very light spin-0 mediators can have large self-interaction rates and obtain their relic abundance from thermal freeze-out. At the same time, these models face strong bounds from direct and indirect probes of dark matter as well as a number of constraints on the properties of the mediator. We investigate whether these constraints can be consistent with having observable effects from dark matter self-interactions in astrophysical systems. Read More

Weakly-coupled TeV-scale particles may mediate the interactions between normal matter and dark matter. If so, the LHC would produce dark matter through these mediators, leading to the familiar "mono-X" search signatures, but the mediators would also produce signals without missing momentum via the same vertices involved in their production. This document from the LHC Dark Matter Working Group suggests how to compare searches for these two types of signals in case of vector and axial-vector mediators, based on a workshop that took place on September 19/20, 2016 and subsequent discussions. Read More

This review discusses both experimental and theoretical aspects of searches for dark matter at the LHC. An overview of the various experimental search channels is given, followed by a summary of the different theoretical approaches for predicting dark matter signals. A special emphasis is placed on the interplay between LHC dark matter searches and other kinds of dark matter experiments, as well as among different types of LHC searches. Read More

We discuss a novel signature of dark matter production at the LHC resulting from the emission of an additional Higgs boson in the dark sector. The presence of such a dark Higgs boson is motivated simultaneously by the need to generate the masses of the particles in the dark sector and the possibility to relax constraints from the dark matter relic abundance by opening up a new annihilation channel. If the dark Higgs boson decays into Standard Model states via a small mixing with the Standard Model Higgs boson, one obtains characteristic large-radius jets in association with missing transverse momentum that can be used to efficiently discriminate signal from backgrounds. Read More

We study a new class of renormalisable simplified models for dark matter searches at the LHC that are based on two Higgs doublet models with an additional pseudoscalar mediator. In contrast to the spin-0 simplified models employed in analyses of Run I data these models are self-consistent, unitary and bounds from Higgs physics typically pose no constraints. Predictions for various missing transverse energy ($E_{T, \rm miss}$) searches are discussed and the reach of the 13 TeV LHC is explored. Read More

Coupling dark matter to light new particles is an attractive way to combine thermal production with strong velocity-dependent self-interactions. Here we point out that in such models the dark matter annihilation rate is generically enhanced by the Sommerfeld effect, and we derive the resulting constraints from the Cosmic Microwave Background and other indirect detection probes. For the frequently studied case of s-wave annihilation these constraints exclude the entire parameter space where the self-interactions are large enough to address the small-scale problems of structure formation. Read More

The interpretation of dark matter direct detection experiments is complicated by the fact that neither the astrophysical distribution of dark matter nor the properties of its particle physics interactions with nuclei are known in detail. To address both of these issues in a very general way we develop a new framework that combines the full formalism of non-relativistic effective interactions with state-of-the-art halo-independent methods. This approach makes it possible to analyse direct detection experiments for arbitrary dark matter interactions and quantify the goodness-of-fit independent of astrophysical uncertainties. Read More

A reliable comparison of different dark matter (DM) searches requires models that satisfy certain consistency requirements like gauge invariance and perturbative unitarity. As a well-motivated example, we study two-mediator DM (2MDM). The model is based on a spontaneously broken $U(1)'$ gauge symmetry and contains a Majorana DM particle as well as two $s$-channel mediators, one vector (the $Z'$) and one scalar (the dark Higgs). Read More

We analyse a combination of ATLAS and CMS searches for dijet resonances at run I and run II, presenting the results in a way that can be easily applied to a generic Z' model. As an illustrative example, we consider a simple model of a Z' coupling to quarks and dark matter. We first study a benchmark case with fixed couplings and then focus on the assumption that the Z' is responsible for setting the dark matter relic abundance. Read More

The potential sensitivity to isospin-breaking effects makes LHC searches for mono-W signatures promising probes of the coupling structure between the Standard Model and dark matter. It has been shown, however, that the strong sensitivity of the mono-W channel to the relative magnitude and sign of the up-type and down-type quark couplings to dark matter is an artefact of unitarity violation. We provide three different solutions to this mono-W problem in the context of spin-1 simplified models and briefly discuss the impact that our findings have on the prospects of mono-W searches at future LHC runs. Read More

We show that contrary to naive expectations the recently observed diphoton excess can be explained by a vector resonance, which decays to a photon and a light scalar $s$, followed by a decay of the scalar into two photons: $Z' \rightarrow \gamma s \rightarrow 3 \gamma$. As the two photons from the scalar decay are highly boosted, the experimental signature is an apparent diphoton final state. In fact all the necessary ingredients are naturally present in $Z'$ models: Additional fermions with electroweak quantum numbers are required in order to render the theory anomaly free and naturally induce the required effective couplings, while the hidden Higgs which gives mass to the $Z'$ can be very light. Read More

With their high beam energy and intensity, existing and near-future proton beam dumps provide an excellent opportunity to search for new very weakly coupled particles in the MeV to GeV mass range. One particularly interesting example is a so-called axion-like particle (ALP), i.e. Read More

We show that simplified models used to describe the interactions of dark matter with Standard Model particles do not in general respect gauge invariance and that perturbative unitarity may be violated in large regions of the parameter space. The modifications necessary to cure these inconsistencies may imply a much richer phenomenology and lead to stringent constraints on the model. We illustrate these observations by considering the simplified model of a fermionic dark matter particle and a vector mediator. Read More

A gauge singlet scalar with non-minimal coupling to gravity can drive inflation and later freeze out to become cold dark matter. We explore this idea by revisiting inflation in the singlet direction (S-inflation) and Higgs Portal Dark Matter in light of the Higgs discovery, limits from LUX and observations by Planck. We show that large regions of parameter space remain viable, so that successful inflation is possible and the dark matter relic abundance can be reproduced. Read More

Authors: Daniel Abercrombie, Nural Akchurin, Ece Akilli, Juan Alcaraz Maestre, Brandon Allen, Barbara Alvarez Gonzalez, Jeremy Andrea, Alexandre Arbey, Georges Azuelos, Patrizia Azzi, Mihailo Backović, Yang Bai, Swagato Banerjee, James Beacham, Alexander Belyaev, Antonio Boveia, Amelia Jean Brennan, Oliver Buchmueller, Matthew R. Buckley, Giorgio Busoni, Michael Buttignol, Giacomo Cacciapaglia, Regina Caputo, Linda Carpenter, Nuno Filipe Castro, Guillelmo Gomez Ceballos, Yangyang Cheng, John Paul Chou, Arely Cortes Gonzalez, Chris Cowden, Francesco D'Eramo, Annapaola De Cosa, Michele De Gruttola, Albert De Roeck, Andrea De Simone, Aldo Deandrea, Zeynep Demiragli, Anthony DiFranzo, Caterina Doglioni, Tristan du Pree, Robin Erbacher, Johannes Erdmann, Cora Fischer, Henning Flaecher, Patrick J. Fox, Benjamin Fuks, Marie-Helene Genest, Bhawna Gomber, Andreas Goudelis, Johanna Gramling, John Gunion, Kristian Hahn, Ulrich Haisch, Roni Harnik, Philip C. Harris, Kerstin Hoepfner, Siew Yan Hoh, Dylan George Hsu, Shih-Chieh Hsu, Yutaro Iiyama, Valerio Ippolito, Thomas Jacques, Xiangyang Ju, Felix Kahlhoefer, Alexis Kalogeropoulos, Laser Seymour Kaplan, Lashkar Kashif, Valentin V. Khoze, Raman Khurana, Khristian Kotov, Dmytro Kovalskyi, Suchita Kulkarni, Shuichi Kunori, Viktor Kutzner, Hyun Min Lee, Sung-Won Lee, Seng Pei Liew, Tongyan Lin, Steven Lowette, Romain Madar, Sarah Malik, Fabio Maltoni, Mario Martinez Perez, Olivier Mattelaer, Kentarou Mawatari, Christopher McCabe, Théo Megy, Enrico Morgante, Stephen Mrenna, Siddharth M. Narayanan, Andy Nelson, Sérgio F. Novaes, Klaas Ole Padeken, Priscilla Pani, Michele Papucci, Manfred Paulini, Christoph Paus, Jacopo Pazzini, Björn Penning, Michael E. Peskin, Deborah Pinna, Massimiliano Procura, Shamona F. Qazi, Davide Racco, Emanuele Re, Antonio Riotto, Thomas G. Rizzo, Rainer Roehrig, David Salek, Arturo Sanchez Pineda, Subir Sarkar, Alexander Schmidt, Steven Randolph Schramm, William Shepherd, Gurpreet Singh, Livia Soffi, Norraphat Srimanobhas, Kevin Sung, Tim M. P. Tait, Timothee Theveneaux-Pelzer, Marc Thomas, Mia Tosi, Daniele Trocino, Sonaina Undleeb, Alessandro Vichi, Fuquan Wang, Lian-Tao Wang, Ren-Jie Wang, Nikola Whallon, Steven Worm, Mengqing Wu, Sau Lan Wu, Hongtao Yang, Yong Yang, Shin-Shan Yu, Bryan Zaldivar, Marco Zanetti, Zhiqing Zhang, Alberto Zucchetta

This document is the final report of the ATLAS-CMS Dark Matter Forum, a forum organized by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations with the participation of experts on theories of Dark Matter, to select a minimal basis set of dark matter simplified models that should support the design of the early LHC Run-2 searches. A prioritized, compact set of benchmark models is proposed, accompanied by studies of the parameter space of these models and a repository of generator implementations. This report also addresses how to apply the Effective Field Theory formalism for collider searches and present the results of such interpretations. Read More

Authors: Jalal Abdallah, Henrique Araujo, Alexandre Arbey, Adi Ashkenazi, Alexander Belyaev, Joshua Berger, Celine Boehm, Antonio Boveia, Amelia Brennan, Jim Brooke, Oliver Buchmueller, Matthew Buckley, Giorgio Busoni, Lorenzo Calibbi, Sushil Chauhan, Nadir Daci, Gavin Davies, Isabelle De Bruyn, Paul De Jong, Albert De Roeck, Kees de Vries, Daniele Del Re, Andrea De Simone, Andrea Di Simone, Caterina Doglioni, Matthew Dolan, Herbi K. Dreiner, John Ellis, Sarah Eno, Erez Etzion, Malcolm Fairbairn, Brian Feldstein, Henning Flaecher, Eric Feng, Patrick Fox, Marie-Hélène Genest, Loukas Gouskos, Johanna Gramling, Ulrich Haisch, Roni Harnik, Anthony Hibbs, Siewyan Hoh, Walter Hopkins, Valerio Ippolito, Thomas Jacques, Felix Kahlhoefer, Valentin V. Khoze, Russell Kirk, Andreas Korn, Khristian Kotov, Shuichi Kunori, Greg Landsberg, Sebastian Liem, Tongyan Lin, Steven Lowette, Robyn Lucas, Luca Malgeri, Sarah Malik, Christopher McCabe, Alaettin Serhan Mete, Enrico Morgante, Stephen Mrenna, Yu Nakahama, Dave Newbold, Karl Nordstrom, Priscilla Pani, Michele Papucci, Sophio Pataraia, Bjoern Penning, Deborah Pinna, Giacomo Polesello, Davide Racco, Emanuele Re, Antonio Walter Riotto, Thomas Rizzo, David Salek, Subir Sarkar, Steven Schramm, Patrick Skubic, Oren Slone, Juri Smirnov, Yotam Soreq, Timothy Sumner, Tim M. P. Tait, Marc Thomas, Ian Tomalin, Christopher Tunnell, Alessandro Vichi, Tomer Volansky, Neal Weiner, Stephen M. West, Monika Wielers, Steven Worm, Itay Yavin, Bryan Zaldivar, Ning Zhou, Kathryn Zurek

This document outlines a set of simplified models for dark matter and its interactions with Standard Model particles. It is intended to summarize the main characteristics that these simplified models have when applied to dark matter searches at the LHC, and to provide a number of useful expressions for reference. The list of models includes both s-channel and t-channel scenarios. Read More

Self-interactions of dark matter particles can potentially lead to an observable separation between the dark matter halo and the stars of a galaxy moving through a region of large dark matter density. Such a separation has recently been observed in a galaxy falling into the core of the galaxy cluster Abell 3827. We estimated the DM self-interaction cross section needed to reproduce the observed effects and find that the sensitivity of Abell 3827 has been significantly overestimated in a previous study. Read More


This paper describes the physics case for a new fixed target facility at CERN SPS. The SHiP (Search for Hidden Particles) experiment is intended to hunt for new physics in the largely unexplored domain of very weakly interacting particles with masses below the Fermi scale, inaccessible to the LHC experiments, and to study tau neutrino physics. The same proton beam setup can be used later to look for decays of tau-leptons with lepton flavour number non-conservation, $\tau\to 3\mu$ and to search for weakly-interacting sub-GeV dark matter candidates. Read More

We consider dark sector particles (DSPs) that obtain sizeable interactions with Standard Model fermions from a new mediator. While these particles can avoid observation in direct detection experiments, they are strongly constrained by LHC measurements. We demonstrate that there is an important complementarity between searches for DSP production and searches for the mediator itself, in particular bounds on (broad) dijet resonances. Read More

Dark matter interacting via the exchange of a light pseudoscalar can induce observable signals in indirect detection experiments and experience large self-interactions while evading the strong bounds from direct dark matter searches. The pseudoscalar mediator will however induce flavour-changing interactions in the Standard Model, providing a promising alternative way to test these models. We investigate in detail the constraints arising from rare meson decays and fixed target experiments for different coupling structures between the pseudoscalar and Standard Model fermions. Read More

We propose an improved method to study recent and near-future dark matter direct detection experiments with small numbers of observed events. Our method determines in a quantitative and halo-independent way whether the experiments point towards a consistent dark matter signal and identifies the best-fit dark matter parameters. To achieve true halo independence, we apply a recently developed method based on finding the velocity distribution that best describes a given set of data. Read More

Uncertainty in the local dark matter velocity distribution is a key difficulty in the analysis of data from direct detection experiments. Here we propose a new approach for dealing with this uncertainty, which does not involve any assumptions about the structure of the dark matter halo. Given a dark matter model, our method yields the velocity distribution which best describes a set of direct detection data as a finite sum of streams with optimised speeds and densities. Read More

LHC searches for missing transverse energy in association with a jet allow to place strong bounds on the interactions between dark matter and quarks. In this article, we present an extension of the POWHEG BOX capable of calculating the underlying cross sections at the next-to-leading order level. This approach enables us to consistently include the effects of parton showering and to apply realistic experimental cuts. Read More

When a dark matter halo moves through a background of dark matter particles, self-interactions can lead to both deceleration and evaporation of the halo and thus shift its centroid relative to the collisionless stars and galaxies. We study the magnitude and time evolution of this shift for two classes of dark matter self-interactions, viz. frequent self-interactions with small momentum transfer (e. Read More

The CDMS-II collaboration has reported 3 events in a Si detector, which are consistent with being nuclear recoils due to scattering of Galactic dark matter particles with a mass of about 8.6 GeV and a cross-section on neutrons of about 2 x 10^-41 cm^2. While a previous result from the XENON10 experiment has supposedly ruled out such particles as dark matter, we find by reanalysing the XENON10 data that this is not the case. Read More

The latest results from LHC searches for jets in association with missing transverse energy place strong bounds on the scattering cross section of dark matter. For the case of spin-dependent or momentum suppressed interactions these limits seem to be superior to the bounds from direct detection experiments. In this article, we show that loop contributions can significantly alter this conclusion and boost direct detection bounds, whenever they induce spin-independent interactions. Read More

If only tree-level processes are included in the analysis, LHC monojet searches give weak constraints on the dark matter-proton scattering cross section arising from the exchange of a new heavy scalar or pseudoscalar mediator with Yukawa-like couplings to quarks. In this letter we calculate the constraints on these interactions from the CMS 5.0/fb and ATLAS 4. Read More

Improved limits as well as tentative claims for dark matter annihilation into gamma-ray lines have been presented recently. We study the direct detection cross section induced from dark matter annihilation into two photons in a model-independent fashion, assuming no additional couplings between dark matter and nuclei. We find a striking non-standard recoil spectrum due to different destructively interfering contributions to the dark matter nucleus scattering cross section. Read More

We study the interactions of a new spin-1 mediator that connects the Standard Model to dark matter. We constrain its decay channels using monojet and monophoton searches, as well as searches for resonances in dijet, dilepton and diboson final states including those involving a possible Higgs. We then interpret the resulting limits as bounds on the cross-section for dark matter direct detection without the need to specify a particular model. Read More

We study the impact of the assumed velocity distribution of galactic dark matter particles on the interpretation of results from nuclear recoil detectors. By converting experimental data to variables that make the astrophysical unknowns explicit, different experiments can be compared without implicit assumptions concerning the dark matter halo. We extend this framework to include the annual modulation signal, as well as multiple target elements. Read More

We discuss the direct detection signatures of dark matter interacting with nuclei via a Z' mediator, focussing on the case where both the dark matter and the $Z'$ have mass of a few GeV. Isospin violation (i.e. Read More

DAMA observes an annual modulation in their event rate, as might be expected from dark matter scatterings, while CoGeNT has reported evidence for a similar modulation. The simplest interpretation of these findings in terms of dark matter-nucleus scatterings is excluded by other direct detection experiments. We consider the robustness of these exclusions with respect to assumptions regarding the scattering and find that isospin-violating inelastic dark matter helps alleviate this tension and allows marginal compatibility between experiments. Read More

We provide a new way of constraining the relative scintillation efficiency L_eff for liquid xenon. Using a simple estimate for the electronic and nuclear stopping powers together with an analysis of recombination processes we predict both the ionization and the scintillation yields. Using presently available data for the ionization yield, we can use the correlation between these two quantities to constrain L_eff from below. Read More