Malcolm Fairbairn - Kings College London

Malcolm Fairbairn
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Name
Malcolm Fairbairn
Affiliation
Kings College London
City
London
Country
United Kingdom

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (41)
 
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (24)
 
High Energy Physics - Experiment (9)
 
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (9)
 
Astrophysics (7)
 
Astrophysics of Galaxies (6)
 
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (4)
 
High Energy Physics - Theory (3)
 
Physics - Other (1)
 
Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors (1)
 
Physics - Popular Physics (1)
 
Physics - Atomic Physics (1)
 
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)
 
Mathematical Physics (1)
 
Mathematics - Mathematical Physics (1)
 
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Malcolm Fairbairn

We make projections for measuring the black hole birth rate from the diffuse supernova neutrino background (DSNB) by future neutrino experiments, and constrain the black hole merger fraction $\epsilon$, when combined with information on the black hole merger rate from gravitational wave experiments such as LIGO. The DSNB originates from neutrinos emitted by all the supernovae in the Universe, and is expected to be made up of two components: neutrinos from neutron-star-forming supernovae, and a sub-dominant component at higher energies from black-hole-forming "unnovae". We perform a Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis of simulated data of the DSNB in an experiment similar to Hyper Kamiokande, focusing on this second component. Read More

We explore the anomaly-cancellation constraints on simplified dark matter (DM) models with an extra U(1)$^\prime$ gauge boson $Z'$. We show that, if the Standard Model (SM) fermions are supplemented by a single DM fermion $\chi$ that is a singlet of the SM gauge group, and the SM quarks have non-zero U(1)$^\prime$ charges, the SM leptons must also have non-zero U(1)$^\prime$ charges, in which case LHC searches impose strong constraints on the $Z'$ mass. Moreover, the DM fermion $\chi$ must have a vector-like U(1)$^\prime$ coupling. Read More

Hidden sector glueball dark matter is well motivated by string theory, compactifications of which often have extra gauge groups uncoupled to the visible sector. We study the dynamics of glueballs in theories with a period of late time primordial matter domination followed by a low final reheating temperature due to a gravitationally coupled modulus. Compared to scenarios with a high reheating temperature, the required relic abundance is possible with higher hidden sector confinement scales, and less extreme differences in the entropy densities of the hidden and visible sectors. 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

The phase transition responsible for axion dark matter production can create large amplitude isocurvature perturbations which collapse into dense objects known as axion miniclusters. We use microlensing data from the EROS survey, and from recent observations with the Subaru Hyper Suprime Cam to place constraints on the minicluster scenario. We compute the microlensing event rate for miniclusters treating them as spatially extended objects with an extended mass function. Read More

The classical equations of motion for an axion with potential $V(\phi)=m_a^2f_a^2 [1-\cos (\phi/f_a)]$ possess quasi-stable, localized, oscillating solutions, which we refer to as "axion stars". We study, for the first time, collapse of axion stars numerically using the full non-linear Einstein equations of general relativity and the full non-perturbative cosine potential. We map regions on an "axion star stability diagram", parameterized by the initial ADM mass, $M_{\rm ADM}$, and axion decay constant, $f_a$. Read More

This White Paper is an input to the ongoing discussion about the extension and refinement of simplified Dark Matter (DM) models. Based on two concrete examples, we show how existing simplified DM models (SDMM) can be extended to provide a more accurate and comprehensive framework to interpret and characterise collider searches. In the first example we extend the canonical SDMM with a scalar mediator to include mixing with the Higgs boson. Read More

Future dark matter detectors plan to have sensitivities such that solar neutrinos will start to become a problematic background. In this work we show that a polarised helium-3 detector would in principle be able to eliminate 98% of these events when the orientation of the polarisation axis is antiparallel to the direction of the Sun. We comment on the possible improvement in sensitivity of dark matter direct detection experiments due to this effect and the feasibility of building such a detector. 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 recently discovered object Triangulum II appears to be an ultra faint dwarf spheroidal galaxy which may be one of the most dark matter dominated objects yet known. In this work we try to estimate the potential of this object for studies of the indirect detection of self-annihilating dark matter by obtaining its astrophysical J-factor. We perform a basic estimate of the velocity gradient to look for signs of the halo being tidally disrupted but show that the observed value is statistically compatible with zero velocity gradient. Read More

2016Apr
Affiliations: 1IPPP, Durham U., 2King's Coll. London, 3IPPP, Durham U., 4Madrid, IFT and Madrid, Autonoma U., 5IPPP, Durham U., 6IPPP, Durham U. and Annecy, LAPTH

The next generation of dark matter direct detection experiments will be sensitive to both coherent neutrino-nucleus and neutrino-electron scattering. This will enable them to explore aspects of solar physics, perform the lowest energy measurement of the weak angle to date, and probe contributions from new theories with light mediators. In this article, we compute the projected nuclear and electron recoil rates expected in several dark matter direct detection experiments due to solar neutrinos, and use these estimates to quantify errors on future measurements of the neutrino fluxes, weak mixing angle and solar observables, as well as to constrain new physics in the neutrino sector. Read More

We investigate the robustness of the resonance like feature centred at around a 750 GeV invariant mass in the 13 TeV diphoton data, recently released by the ATLAS collaboration. We focus on the choice of empirical function used to model the continuum diphoton background in order to quantify the uncertainties in the analysis due to this choice. We extend the function chosen by the ATLAS collaboration to one with two components. Read More

2015Jun
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

We present a new approach to the problem of estimating the redshift of galaxies from photometric data. The approach uses a genetic algorithm combined with non-linear regression to model the 2SLAQ LRG data set with SDSS DR7 photometry. The genetic algorithm explores the very large space of high order polynomials while only requiring optimisation of a small number of terms. Read More

A model of high scale inflation is presented where the radial part of the Peccei-Quinn (PQ) field with a non-minimal coupling to gravity plays the role of the inflaton, and the QCD axion is the dark matter. A quantum fluctuation of $\mathcal{O}(H/2\pi)$ in the axion field will result in a smaller angular fluctuation if the PQ field is sitting at a larger radius during inflation than in the vacuum. This changes the effective axion decay constant, $f_a$, during inflation and dramatically reduces the production of isocurvature modes. Read More

The theoretical motivation for exotic stable massive particles (SMPs) and the results of SMP searches at non-collider facilities are reviewed. SMPs are defined such that they would be sufficiently long-lived so as to still exist in the cosmos either as Big Bang relics or secondary collision products, and sufficiently massive to be beyond the reach of any conceivable accelerator-based experiment. The discovery of SMPs would address a number of important questions in modern physics, such as the origin and composition of dark matter in the Universe and the unification of the fundamental forces. Read More

In this White Paper we present and discuss a concrete proposal for the consistent interpretation of Dark Matter searches at colliders and in direct detection experiments. Based on a specific implementation of simplified models of vector and axial-vector mediator exchanges, this proposal demonstrates how the two search strategies can be compared on an equal footing. Read More

In this paper we show that positron data from AMS seems to rule out the explanation of the ARCADE isotropic radio background excess in terms of self-annihilating dark matter. In earlier works it was found that leptonic annihilation channels of light dark matter provide a good fit to the excess due to synchrotron emission of the final state particles. However, limits on the self-annihilation cross-section derived from the positron data of AMS now severely constrain light self-annihilating dark matter and cross-sections below that of a thermal relic are already tested for leptonic annihilation channels. Read More

Coherent scattering of solar, atmospheric and diffuse supernovae neutrinos creates an irreducible background for direct dark matter experiments with sensitivities to WIMP-nucleon spin-independent scattering cross-sections of 10^(-46)-10^(-48) cm^2, depending on the WIMP mass. Even if one could eliminate all other backgrounds, this "neutrino floor" will limit future experiments with projected sensitivities to cross-sections as small as 10^(-48) cm^2. Direction-sensitive detectors have the potential to study dark matter beyond the neutrino bound by fitting event distributions in multiple dimensions: recoil kinetic energy, recoil track angle with respect to the sun, and event time. Read More

We consider models of dark matter where the couplings between the standard model and the dark sector fall at resonance due to kinematics and direct detection experiments become insensitive. To be specific, we consider a simple model of 100 GeV - TeV scale dark matter coupled to the standard model via a vector boson. We explore whether it will be possible to exclude such regions of the parameter space using future observations of dijet rates at the LHC and CTA and AMS observations of the Galactic Centre. Read More

We investigate the possibility of using the only known fundamental scalar, the Higgs, as an inflaton with minimal coupling to gravity. The peculiar appearance of a plateau or a false vacuum in the renormalised effective scalar potential suggests that the Higgs might drive inflation. For the case of a false vacuum we use an additional singlet scalar field, motivated by the strong CP problem, and its coupling to the Higgs to lift the barrier allowing for a graceful exit from inflation by mimicking hybrid inflation. Read More

We consider the effect of a period of inflation with a high energy density upon the stability of the Higgs potential in the early universe. The recent measurement of a large tensor-to-scalar ratio, $r_T \sim 0.16$, by the BICEP-2 experiment possibly implies that the energy density during inflation was very high, comparable with the GUT scale. Read More

The arrival of TeV-energy photons from distant galaxies is expected to be affected by their QED interaction with intergalactic radiation fields through electron-positron pair production. In theories where high-energy photons violate Lorentz symmetry, the kinematics of the process $\gamma + \gamma\rightarrow e^+ + e^-$ is altered and the cross-section suppressed. Consequently, one would expect more of the highest-energy photons to arrive if QED is modified by Lorentz violation than if it is not. Read More

We present a new method for studying tracers in gravitational systems where higher moments of the line-of-sight velocity distribution are introduced via Virial equations rather than the Jeans equations. Unlike the fourth order Jeans equations, the fourth order Virial equations can simply be added to the standard second order Jeans equation without introducing a new anisotropy parameter $\beta^{\prime}$. We introduce two new global shape parameters $\zeta_A$ and $\zeta_B$ which replace the kurtosis as a more statistically robust measure of the shape of the line of sight velocity distribution. Read More

Inflationary models based on a single scalar field $\phi$ with a quadratic potential $V = \frac{1}{2} m^2 \phi^2$ are disfavoured by the recent Planck constraints on the scalar index, $n_s$, and the tensor-to-scalar ratio for cosmological density perturbations, $r_T$. In this paper we study how such a quadratic inflationary model can be rescued by postulating additional fields with quadratic potentials, such as might occur in sneutrino models, which might serve as either curvatons or supplementary inflatons. Introducing a second scalar field reduces but does not remove the pressure on quadratic inflation, but we find a sample of three-field models that are highly compatible with the Planck data on $n_s$ and $r_T$. Read More

Recently it has been suggested that dark radiation in the form of axions produced during the decay of string theory moduli fields could be responsible for the soft x-ray excess in galaxy clusters. These soft X-ray photons come about due to the conversion of these axions into photons in the magnetic fields of the clusters. In this work we calculate the conversion of axionic dark radiation into X-ray photons in the magnetic field of our own Galaxy. Read More

We show that vector-like fermions can act as the dark matter candidate in the universe whilst also playing a crucial role in electroweak baryogenesis through contributing to the barrier in the one-loop thermal scalar potential. In order for the new fermions to give rise to a strong first order phase transition, we show that one requires rather large Yukawa couplings in the new sector, which are strongly constrained by electroweak precision tests and perturbativity. Strong couplings between the dark matter candidate and the Higgs boson intuitively lead to small values of the relic density and problems with dark matter direct detection bounds. Read More

We consider a model with a gauge singlet Dirac fermion as a cold dark matter candidate. The dark matter particle communicates with the Standard Model via a gauge singlet scalar mediator that couples to the Higgs. The scalar mediator also serves to create a tree-level barrier in the scalar potential which leads to a strongly first order electroweak phase transition as required for Electroweak Baryogenesis. Read More

We attempt to measure the density of dark matter in the two Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies Fornax and Sculptor using a new method which employs Jeans equations based on both the second and fourth moment of the Collisionless Boltzmann Equation (i.e. variance and kurtosis of line of sight stellar velocities). Read More

We analyse the situation where the primordial curvature perturbations are produced by the joint effects of an inflaton field and two curvaton fields. We present general equations which allow the reader to obtain f_NL for several different scenarios which differ in the order in which fields decay into radiation after inflation. In order to investigate the physics of these equations we analyse some simplified situations where the fields are harmonic and both curvatons are frozen at the same expectation value during inflation. Read More

The Jeans analysis is often used to infer the total density of a system by relating the velocity moments of an observable tracer population to the underlying gravitational potential. This technique has recently been applied in the search for Dark Matter in objects such as dwarf spheroidal galaxies where the presence of Dark Matter is inferred via stellar velocities. A precise account of the density is needed to constrain the expected gamma ray flux from DM self-annihilation and to distinguish between cold and warm dark matter models. Read More

We attempt to estimate the uncertainty in the constraints on the spin independent dark matter-nucleon cross section due to our lack of knowledge of the dark matter phase space in the galaxy. We fit the density of dark matter before investigating the possible solutions of the Jeans equation compatible with those fits in order to understand what velocity dispersions we might expect at the solar radius. We take into account the possibility of non-Maxwellian velocity distributions and the possible presence of a dark disk. Read More

Starlight in the Universe impedes the passage of high energy (e.g. TeV) gamma rays due to positron-electron pair production. Read More

We test the opacity of a void Universe to TeV energy gamma rays having obtained the extra-galactic background light in that Universe using a simple model and the observed constraints on the star formation rate history. We find that the void Universe has significantly more opacity than a Lambda-CDM Universe, putting it at odds with observations of BL-Lac objects. We argue that while this method of distinguishing between the two cosmologies contains uncertainties, it circumvents any debates over fine-tuning. Read More

We quantify the effects of the voids known to exist in the Universe upon the reconstruction of the dark energy equation of state $w$. We show that the effect can start to be comparable with some of the other errors taken into account when analysing supernova data, depending strongly upon the low redshift cut-off used in the sample. For the supernova data alone, the error induced in the reconstruction of $w$ is much larger than the percent level. Read More

Slow-roll inflation is studied in theories where the inflaton field is conformally coupled to the Ricci scalar. In particular, the case of Higgs field inflation in the context of the noncommutative spectral action is analyzed. It is shown that while the Higgs potential can lead to the slow-roll conditions being satisfied once the running of the self-coupling at two-loops is included, the constraints imposed from the CMB data make the predictions of such a scenario incompatible with the measured value of the top quark mass. Read More

2010Apr
Affiliations: 1King's College London, 2King's College London

We examine whether the accretion of dark matter onto neutron stars could ever have any visible external effects. Captured dark matter which subsequently annihilates will heat the neutron stars, although it seems the effect will be too small to heat close neutron stars at an observable rate whilst those at the galactic centre are obscured by dust. Non-annihilating dark matter would accumulate at the centre of the neutron star. Read More

We propose that the effective dimensionality of the space we live in depends on the length scale we are probing. As the length scale increases, new dimensions open up. At short scales the space is lower dimensional; at the intermediate scales the space is three-dimensional; and at large scales, the space is effectively higher dimensional. Read More

X-ray and gamma-ray observations can help understand the origin of the electron and positron signals reported by ATIC, PAMELA, PPB-BETS, and Fermi. It remains unclear whether the observed high-energy electrons and positrons are produced by relic particles, or by some astrophysical sources. To distinguish between the two possibilities, one can compare the electron population in the local neighborhood with that in the dwarf spheroidal galaxies, which are not expected to host as many pulsars and other astrophysical sources. Read More

We consider the capture of inelastic dark matter in white dwarves by inelastic spin-independent scattering on nuclei. We show that if the dark matter annihilates to standard-model particles then, under the assumption of primordial globular cluster formation, the observation of cold white dwarves in the globular cluster M4 appears inconsistent with explanations of the observed DAMA/LIBRA annual modulation signal based on spin-independent inelastic dark matter scattering. Alternatively if the inelastic dark matter scenario were to be confirmed and it was found to annihilate to standard-model particles then this would imply a much lower dark matter density in the core of M4 than would be expected if it were to have formed in a dark matter halo. Read More

We announce the public release of the 'dark' stellar evolution code DarkStars. The code simultaneously solves the equations of WIMP capture and annihilation in a star with those of stellar evolution assuming approximate hydrostatic equilibrium. DarkStars includes the most extensive WIMP microphysics of any dark evolution code to date. Read More

Photons may convert into axion like particles and back in the magnetic field of various astrophysical objects, including active galaxies, clusters of galaxies, intergalactic space and the Milky Way. This is a potential explanation for the candidate neutral ultra-high-energy (E>10^18 eV) particles from distant BL Lac type objects which have been observed by the High Resolution Fly's Eye experiment. Axions of the same mass and coupling may explain also TeV photons detected from distant blazars. Read More

The presence of large amounts of WIMP dark matter in stellar cores has been shown to have significant effects upon models of stellar evolution. We present a series of detailed grids of WIMP-influenced stellar models for main sequence stars, computed using the DarkStars code. We describe the changes in stellar structure and main sequence evolution which occur for masses ranging from 0. Read More

We explain the PAMELA positron excess and the PPB-BETS/ATIC e+ + e- data using a simple two component dark matter model (2DM). The two particle species in the dark matter sector are assumed to be in thermal equilibrium in the early universe. While one particle is stable and is the present day dark matter, the second one is metastable and decays after the universe is 10^-8 s old. Read More

We discuss how the solar occultations of bright sources of energetic gamma rays can be used to extract non-trivial physical and astrophysical information, including the angular size of the image when it is significantly smaller than the experiment's angular resolution. We analyze the EGRET data and discuss prospects for other instruments. The Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope will be able to constrain the size of a possible halo around 3C~279 from observations it makes on the 8th of October each year. Read More

We evaluate speculation about the possibility of a dangerous release of energy within the liquid Helium of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) cryogenic system due to the occurrence of a "Bose-Nova". Bose-Novae are radial bursts of rapidly moving atoms which can occur when a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) undergoes a collapse due the interatomic potential being deliberately made attractive using a magnetic field close to the Feshbach resonance. Liquid 4He has a monatomic structure with s-wave electrons, zero nuclear spin, no hyperfine splitting, and as a consequence no Feshbach resonance which would allow one to change its normally repulsive interactions to be attractive. Read More

In regions of very high dark matter density such as the Galactic centre, the capture and annihilation of WIMP dark matter by stars has the potential to significantly alter their evolution. We describe the dark stellar evolution code DarkStars, and present a series of grids of WIMP-influenced stellar models for main sequence stars. We describe changes in which occur as a function of the rate of energy injection by WIMPs, for stars of 0. Read More

We discuss the interpretation of the annual modulation signal seen in the DAMA experiment in terms of spin-independent elastic WIMP scattering. Taking into account channeling in the crystal as well as the spectral signature of the modulation signal we find that the low-mass WIMP region consistent with DAMA data is confined to WIMP masses close to $m_\chi \simeq 12$ GeV, in disagreement with the constraints from CDMS and XENON. We conclude that even if channeling is taken into account this interpretation of the DAMA modulation signal is disfavoured. Read More

2007Nov
Affiliations: 1Stockholm U., 2Stockholm U., 3CERN and King's College London

Recent work has indicated that WIMP annihilation in stellar cores has the potential to contribute significantly to a star's total energy production. We report on progress in simulating the effects of WIMP capture and annihilation upon stellar structure and evolution near supermassive black holes, using the new DarkStars code. Preliminary results indicate that low-mass stars are the most influenced by WIMP annihilation, which could have consequences for upcoming observational programs. Read More

2007Oct
Affiliations: 1CERN and King's College London, 2Stockholm U., 3Stockholm U.

We modify a stellar structure code to estimate the effect upon the main sequence of the accretion of weakly interacting dark matter onto stars and its subsequent annihilation. The effect upon the stars depends upon whether the energy generation rate from dark matter annihilation is large enough to shut off the nuclear burning in the star. Main sequence WIMP burners look much like protostars moving on the Hayashi track, although they are in principle completely stable. Read More