Gordan Krnjaic

Gordan Krnjaic
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Gordan Krnjaic

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (26)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (16)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (16)
Nuclear Experiment (3)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (1)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)
High Energy Physics - Theory (1)

Publications Authored By Gordan Krnjaic

Cold, ultralight ($\ll$ eV) bosonic dark matter with a misalignment abundance can induce temporal variation in the masses and couplings of Standard Model particles. We find that fast variations in neutrino oscillation parameters can lead to significantly distorted neutrino oscillations (DiNOs) and yield striking signatures at long baseline experiments. We study several representative observables to demonstrate this effect and find that current and future experiments including DUNE and JUNO are sensitive to a wide range of viable scalar parameters over many decades in mass reach. Read More

In this paper, we introduce a novel program of fixed-target searches for thermal-origin Dark Matter (DM), which couples inelastically to the Standard Model. Since the DM only interacts by transitioning to a heavier state, freeze-out proceeds via coannihilation and the unstable heavier state is depleted at later times. For sufficiently large mass splittings, direct detection is kinematically forbidden and indirect detection is impossible, so this scenario can only be tested with accelerators. Read More

We investigate the landscape of constraints on MeV-GeV scale, hidden U(1) forces with nonzero axial-vector couplings to Standard Model fermions. While the purely vector-coupled dark photon, which may arise from kinetic mixing, is a well-motivated scenario, several MeV-scale anomalies motivate a theory with axial couplings which can be UV-completed consistent with Standard Model gauge invariance. Moreover, existing constraints on dark photons depend on products of various combinations of axial and vector couplings, making it difficult to isolate the effects of axial couplings for particular flavors of SM fermions. Read More

It has recently been shown that if the dark matter is in thermal equilibrium with a sector that is highly decoupled from the Standard Model, it can freeze-out with an acceptable relic abundance, even if the dark matter is as heavy as ~1-100 PeV. In such scenarios, both the dark and visible sectors are populated after inflation, but with independent temperatures. The lightest particle in the dark sector will be generically long-lived, and can come to dominate the energy density of the universe. Read More

Authors: Jim Alexander, Marco Battaglieri, Bertrand Echenard, Rouven Essig, Matthew Graham, Eder Izaguirre, John Jaros, Gordan Krnjaic, Jeremy Mardon, David Morrissey, Tim Nelson, Maxim Perelstein, Matt Pyle, Adam Ritz, Philip Schuster, Brian Shuve, Natalia Toro, Richard G Van De Water, Daniel Akerib, Haipeng An, Konrad Aniol, Isaac J. Arnquist, David M. Asner, Henning O. Back, Keith Baker, Nathan Baltzell, Dipanwita Banerjee, Brian Batell, Daniel Bauer, James Beacham, Jay Benesch, James Bjorken, Nikita Blinov, Celine Boehm, Mariangela Bondí, Walter Bonivento, Fabio Bossi, Stanley J. Brodsky, Ran Budnik, Stephen Bueltmann, Masroor H. Bukhari, Raymond Bunker, Massimo Carpinelli, Concetta Cartaro, David Cassel, Gianluca Cavoto, Andrea Celentano, Animesh Chaterjee, Saptarshi Chaudhuri, Gabriele Chiodini, Hsiao-Mei Sherry Cho, Eric D. Church, D. A. Cooke, Jodi Cooley, Robert Cooper, Ross Corliss, Paolo Crivelli, Francesca Curciarello, Annalisa D'Angelo, Hooman Davoudiasl, Marzio De Napoli, Raffaella De Vita, Achim Denig, Patrick deNiverville, Abhay Deshpande, Ranjan Dharmapalan, Bogdan Dobrescu, Sergey Donskov, Raphael Dupre, Juan Estrada, Stuart Fegan, Torben Ferber, Clive Field, Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, Alessandra Filippi, Bartosz Fornal, Arne Freyberger, Alexander Friedland, Iftach Galon, Susan Gardner, Francois-Xavier Girod, Sergei Gninenko, Andrey Golutvin, Stefania Gori, Christoph Grab, Enrico Graziani, Keith Griffioen, Andrew Haas, Keisuke Harigaya, Christopher Hearty, Scott Hertel, JoAnne Hewett, Andrew Hime, David Hitlin, Yonit Hochberg, Roy J. Holt, Maurik Holtrop, Eric W. Hoppe, Todd W. Hossbach, Lauren Hsu, Phil Ilten, Joe Incandela, Gianluca Inguglia, Kent Irwin, Igal Jaegle, Robert P. Johnson, Yonatan Kahn, Grzegorz Kalicy, Zhong-Bo Kang, Vardan Khachatryan, Venelin Kozhuharov, N. V. Krasnikov, Valery Kubarovsky, Eric Kuflik, Noah Kurinsky, Ranjan Laha, Gaia Lanfranchi, Dale Li, Tongyan Lin, Mariangela Lisanti, Kun Liu, Ming Liu, Ben Loer, Dinesh Loomba, Valery E. Lyubovitskij, Aaron Manalaysay, Giuseppe Mandaglio, Jeremiah Mans, W. J. Marciano, Thomas Markiewicz, Luca Marsicano, Takashi Maruyama, Victor A. Matveev, David McKeen, Bryan McKinnon, Dan McKinsey, Harald Merkel, Jeremy Mock, Maria Elena Monzani, Omar Moreno, Corina Nantais, Sebouh Paul, Michael Peskin, Vladimir Poliakov, Antonio D Polosa, Maxim Pospelov, Igor Rachek, Balint Radics, Mauro Raggi, Nunzio Randazzo, Blair Ratcliff, Alessandro Rizzo, Thomas Rizzo, Alan Robinson, Andre Rubbia, David Rubin, Dylan Rueter, Tarek Saab, Elena Santopinto, Richard Schnee, Jessie Shelton, Gabriele Simi, Ani Simonyan, Valeria Sipala, Oren Slone, Elton Smith, Daniel Snowden-Ifft, Matthew Solt, Peter Sorensen, Yotam Soreq, Stefania Spagnolo, James Spencer, Stepan Stepanyan, Jan Strube, Michael Sullivan, Arun S. Tadepalli, Tim Tait, Mauro Taiuti, Philip Tanedo, Rex Tayloe, Jesse Thaler, Nhan V. Tran, Sean Tulin, Christopher G. Tully, Sho Uemura, Maurizio Ungaro, Paolo Valente, Holly Vance, Jerry Vavra, Tomer Volansky, Belina von Krosigk, Andrew Whitbeck, Mike Williams, Peter Wittich, Bogdan Wojtsekhowski, Wei Xue, Jong Min Yoon, Hai-Bo Yu, Jaehoon Yu, Tien-Tien Yu, Yue Zhang, Yue Zhao, Yiming Zhong, Kathryn Zurek

This report, based on the Dark Sectors workshop at SLAC in April 2016, summarizes the scientific importance of searches for dark sector dark matter and forces at masses beneath the weak-scale, the status of this broad international field, the important milestones motivating future exploration, and promising experimental opportunities to reach these milestones over the next 5-10 years. Read More

In this letter, we quantify the challenge of explaining the baryon asymmetry using initial conditions in a universe that undergoes inflation. Contrary to lore, we find that such an explanation is possible if net $B-L$ number is stored in a light bosonic field with hyper-Planckian initial displacement and a delicately chosen field velocity prior to inflation. However, such a construction may require extremely tuned coupling constants to ensure that this asymmetry is viably communicated to the Standard Model after reheating; the large field displacement required to overcome inflationary dilution must not induce masses for Standard Model particles or generate dangerous washout processes. Read More

In this letter, we consider a class of scenarios in which the dark matter is part of a heavy hidden sector that is thermally decoupled from the Standard Model in the early universe. The dark matter freezes-out by annihilating to a lighter, metastable state, whose subsequent abundance can naturally come to dominate the energy density of the universe. When this state decays, it reheats the visible sector and dilutes all relic abundances, thereby allowing the dark matter to be orders of magnitude heavier than the weak scale. Read More

We systematically study light (< few GeV) Dark Matter (DM) models that thermalize with visible matter through the Higgs portal and identify the remaining gaps in the viable parameter space. Such models require a comparably light scalar mediator that mixes with the Higgs to avoid DM overproduction and can be classified according to whether this mediator decays (in)visibly. In a representative benchmark model with Dirac fermion DM, we find that, even with conservative assumptions about the DM-mediator coupling and mass ratio, the regime in which the mediator is heavier than the DM is fully ruled out by a combination of collider, rare meson decay, and direct detection limits; future and planned experiments including NA62 can further improve sensitivity to scenarios in which the Higgs portal interaction does not determine the DM abundance. Read More

Dark Matter particles with inelastic interactions are ubiquitous in extensions of the Standard Model, yet remain challenging to fully probe with existing strategies. We propose a series of powerful searches at hadron and lepton colliders that are sensitive to inelastic dark matter dynamics. In representative models featuring either a massive dark photon or a magnetic dipole interaction, we find that the LHC and BaBar could offer strong sensitivity to the thermal-relic dark matter parameter space for dark matter masses between ~100 MeV-100 GeV and fractional mass-splittings above the percent level; future searches at Belle II with a dedicated monophoton trigger could also offer sensitivity to thermal-relic scenarios with masses below a few GeV. Read More

We demonstrate that current and planned underground neutrino experiments could offer a powerful probe of few-MeV dark matter when combined with a nearby high-intensity low-to-medium energy electron accelerator. This experimental setup, an underground beam-dump experiment, is capable of decisively testing the thermal freeze-out mechanism for several natural dark matter scenarios in this mass range. We present the sensitivity reach in terms of the mass-coupling parameter space of existing and planned detectors, such as Super-K, SNO+, and JUNO, in conjunction with a hypothetical 100 MeV energy accelerator. Read More

We analyze the present status of sub-GeV thermal dark matter annihilating through Standard Model mixing and identify a small set of future experiments that can decisively test these scenarios. 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 describe an approach to detect dark matter and other invisible particles with mass below a GeV, exploiting missing energy-momentum measurements and other kinematic features of fixed-target production. In the case of an invisibly decaying MeV-GeV-scale dark photon, this approach can improve on present constraints by 2-6 orders of magnitude over the entire mass range, reaching sensitivity as low as $\epsilon^2\sim 10^{-14}$. Moreover, the approach can explore essentially all of the viable parameter space for thermal or asymmetric dark matter annihilating through the vector portal. Read More

Among laboratory probes of dark matter, fixed-target neutrino experiments are particularly well-suited to search for light weakly-coupled dark sectors. In this paper, we show that the DAEdALUS source setup---an 800 MeV proton beam impinging on a target of graphite and copper---can improve the present LSND bound on dark photon models by an order of magnitude over much of the accessible parameter space for light dark matter when paired with a suitable neutrino detector such as LENA. Interestingly, both DAEdALUS and LSND are sensitive to dark matter produced from off-shell dark photons. Read More

In a popular class of models, dark matter comprises an asymmetric population of composite particles with short range interactions arising from a confined nonabelian gauge group. We show that coupling this sector to a well-motivated light mediator particle yields efficient darkleosynthesis, a dark-sector version of big-bang nucleosynthesis (BBN), in generic regions of parameter space. Dark matter self-interaction bounds typically require the confinement scale to be above \Lambda_{QCD}, which generically yields large (>>MeV/dark-nucleon) binding energies. Read More

New light, weakly coupled particles can be efficiently produced at existing and future high-intensity accelerators and radioactive sources in deep underground laboratories. Once produced, these particles can scatter or decay in large neutrino detectors (e.g Super-K and Borexino) housed in the same facilities. Read More

It has recently been shown that dark-matter annihilation to bottom quarks provides a good fit to the galactic-center gamma-ray excess identified in the Fermi-LAT data. In the favored dark matter mass range $m\sim 30-40$ GeV, achieving the best-fit annihilation rate $\sigma v \sim 5\times 10^{-26}$ cm$^{3}$ s$^{-1}$ with perturbative couplings requires a sub-TeV mediator particle that interacts with both dark matter and bottom quarks. In this paper, we consider the minimal viable scenarios in which a Standard Model singlet mediates s-channel interactions only between dark matter and bottom quarks, focusing on axial-vector, vector, and pseudoscalar couplings. Read More

It has recently been demonstrated that a program of parasitic electron-beam fixed-target experiments would have powerful discovery potential for dark matter and other new weakly-coupled particles in the MeV-GeV mass range. The first stage of this program can be realized at Jefferson Laboratory using an existing plastic-scintillator detector downstream of the Hall D electron beam dump. This paper studies the physics potential of such an experiment and highlights its unique sensitivity to inelastic "exciting" dark matter and leptophilic dark matter scenarios. Read More

In a broad class of consistent models, MeV to few-GeV dark matter interacts with ordinary matter through weakly coupled GeV-scale mediators. We show that a suitable meter-scale (or smaller) detector situated downstream of an electron beam-dump can sensitively probe dark matter interacting via sub-GeV mediators, while B-factory searches cover the 1-5 GeV range. Combined, such experiments explore a well-motivated and otherwise inaccessible region of dark matter parameter space with sensitivity several orders of magnitude beyond existing direct detection constraints. Read More

Supersymmetric (SUSY) models with R-parity generically predict sparticle decays with invisible neutralinos, which yield distinctive missing energy events at colliders. Since most LHC searches are designed with this expectation, the putative bounds on sparticle masses become considerably weaker if R-parity is violated so that squarks and gluinos decay to jets with large QCD backgrounds. Here we introduce a scenario in which baryonic R-parity violation (RPV) arises effectively from soft SUSY-breaking interactions, but leptonic RPV remains accidentally forbidden to evade constraints from proton decay and FCNCs. Read More

We present a UV complete model with a gauged flavor symmetry which approximately realizes holomorphic Minimal Flavor Violation (MFV) in R-parity violating (RPV) supersymmetry. Previous work has shown that imposing MFV as an ansatz easily evades direct constraints and has interesting collider phenomenology. The model in this work spontaneously breaks the flavor symmetry and features the minimum "exotic" field content needed to cancel anomalies. Read More

We consider the prospects to use polarized dark-matter detectors to discriminate between various dark-matter models. If WIMPs are fermions and participate in parity-violating interactions with ordinary matter, then the recoil-direction and recoil-energy distributions of nuclei in detectors will depend on the orientation of the initial nuclear spin with respect to the velocity of the detector through the Galactic halo. If, however, WIMPS are scalars, the only possible polarization-dependent interactions are extremely velocity-suppressed and, therefore, unobservable. Read More

We show that very light (50 - 90 GeV) axigluons with flavor-universal couplings of order g_{s}/3 may explain the anomalous top forward-backward asymmetry reported by both CDF and D0 collaborations. The model is naturally consistent with the observed t \bar t invariant mass distribution and evades bounds from light Higgs searches, LEP event shapes, and hadronic observables at the Z pole. Very light axigluons can appear as resonances in multijet events, but searches require sensitivity to masses below current limits. Read More

We present a simple UV completion of Atomic Dark Matter (aDM) in which heavy right-handed neutrinos decay to induce both dark and lepton number densities. This model addresses several outstanding cosmological problems: the matter/anti-matter asymmetry, the dark matter abundance, the number of light degrees of freedom in the early universe, and the smoothing of small-scale structure. Additionally, this realization of aDM may reconcile the CoGeNT excess with recently published null results and predicts a signal in the CRESST Oxygen band. Read More

We extend the standard model to include a weak-triplet and color-octet scalar. This `octo-triplet' field consists of three particles, two charged and one neutral, whose masses and renormalizable interactions depend only on two new parameters. The charged octo-triplet decay into a W boson and a gluon is suppressed by a loop factor and an accidental cancellation. Read More

We propose that dark matter is dominantly comprised of atomic bound states. We build a simple model and map the parameter space that results in the early universe formation of hydrogen-like dark atoms. We find that atomic dark matter has interesting implications for cosmology as well as direct detection: Protohalo formation can be suppressed below $M_{proto} \sim 10^3 - 10^6 M_{\odot}$ for weak scale dark matter due to Ion-Radiation interactions in the dark sector. Read More