Neal Weiner - CCPP, NYU

Neal Weiner
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Neal Weiner

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (48)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (13)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (8)
Astrophysics (5)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (4)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (3)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Neal Weiner

New scalars from an extended Higgs sector could have weak scale masses and still have escaped detection. In a Type I Two Higgs Doublet Model, for instance, even the charged Higgs can be lighter than the top quark. Because electroweak production of these scalars is modest, the greatest opportunity for their detection might come from rare top decays. 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

Models with Dirac gauginos provide appealing scenarios for physics beyond the standard model. They have smaller radiative corrections to the Higgs mass, a suppression of certain SUSY production processes, and ameliorated flavor constraints. Unfortunately, they also generally have tachyons, the solutions to which typically spoil these positive features. Read More

Models of supersymmetry with Dirac gauginos provide an attractive scenario for physics beyond the standard model. The "supersoft" radiative corrections and suppressed SUSY production at colliders provide for more natural theories and an understanding of why no new states have been seen. Unfortunately, these models are handicapped by a tachyon which is naturally present in existing models of Dirac gauginos. Read More

Recent evidence for an excess of gamma rays in the GeV energy range about the Galactic Center have refocused attention on models of dark matter in the low mass regime ($m_\chi \lesssim m_Z/2$). Because this is an experimentally well-trod energy range, it can be a challenge to develop simple models that explain this excess, consistent with other experimental constraints. We reconsider models where the dark matter couples to dark photon, which has a weak kinetic mixing to the Standard Model photon, or scalars with a weak mixing with the Higgs boson. Read More

The eXciting Dark Matter (XDM) model was proposed as a mechanism to efficiently convert the kinetic energy (in sufficiently hot environments) of dark matter into e+e- pairs. The standard scenario invokes a doublet of nearly degenerate DM states, and a dark force to mediate a large upscattering cross section between the two. For heavy ($\sim TeV$) DM, the kinetic energy of WIMPs in large (galaxy-sized or larger) halos is capable of producing low-energy positrons. Read More

The landscape of dark matter direct detection has been profoundly altered by the slew of recent experiments. While some have claimed signals consistent with dark matter, others have seen few, if any, events consistent with dark matter. The results of the putative detections are often incompatible with each other in the context of naive spin-independent scattering, as well as with the null results. Read More

Searches for supersymmetry (SUSY) often rely on a combination of hard physics objects (jets, leptons) along with large missing transverse energy to separate New Physics from Standard Model hard processes. We consider a class of ``double-invisible'' SUSY scenarios: where squarks, stops and sbottoms have a three-body decay into two (rather than one) invisible final-state particles. This occurs naturally when the LSP carries an additional conserved quantum number under which other superpartners are not charged. Read More

Multi-component dark matter particles may have a more intricate direct detection signal than simple elastic scattering on nuclei. In a broad class of well-motivated models the inelastic excitation of dark matter particles is followed by de-excitation via $\gamma$-decay. In experiments with fine energy resolution, such as many $0\nu 2\beta$ decay experiments, this motivates a highly model-independent search for the sidereal daily modulation of an unexpected $\gamma$ line. Read More

Magnetic and Rayleigh dark matter are models describing weak interactions of dark matter with electromagnetism through non-renormalizable operators of dimensions 5 and 7, respectively. Such operators motivate the existence of heavier states that couple to dark matter and are also charged under the electroweak interactions. The recent hints of a gamma-ray line in the Fermi data suggest that these states may be light enough to be produced at the LHC. Read More

The current measurement of the Higgs mass, the ubiquitous nature of loop-suppressed gaugino masses in gravity-mediated supersymmetry breaking, relic dark matter density from $\sim$ TeV mass gauginos, together with the success of supersymmetric gauge coupling unification, suggest that scalar superpartner masses are roughly $m_{sc} \sim$ 100-1000 TeV. Higgsino masses, if not at the Planck scale, should generically appear at the same scale. The gaugino mass contributions from anomaly mediation, with the heavy Higgsino threshold, generally leads to a more compressed spectrum than standard anomaly mediation, while the presence of extra vector-like matter near $m_{sc}$ typically leads to an even more compressed spectrum. Read More

Affiliations: 1CCPP, NYU, 2McMaster University and Perimeter Institute

Models that seek to produce a line at ~130 GeV as possibly present in the Fermi data face a number of phenomenological hurdles, not the least of which is achieving the high cross section into gamma gamma required. A simple explanation is a fermionic dark matter particle that couples to photons through loops of charged messengers. We study the size of the dimension 5 dipole (for a pseudo-Dirac state) and dimension 7 Rayleigh operators in such a model, including all higher order corrections in 1/M_{mess}. Read More

New vectorlike fermions that mix with the third generation can significantly affect the tau and b Yukawa couplings. Consistent with precision electroweak measurements, the width of the Higgs boson to tau tau, b b can be reduced by O(1) with respect to the Standard Model values. In the case of the b quark, a reduced width would result in an enhanced branching ratio for other final states, such as gamma gamma. Read More

In models where an additional SU(2)-doublet that does not have couplings to fermions participates in electroweak symmetry breaking, the properties of the Higgs boson are changed. At tree level, in the neighborhood of the SM-like range of parameter space, it is natural to have the coupling to vectors, cV, approximately constant, while the coupling to fermions, cf, is suppressed. This leads to enhanced VBF signals of gamma gamma while keeping other signals of Higgses approximately constant (such as WW* and ZZ*), and suppressing higgs to tau tau. Read More

Supersymmetric theories with an R-parity generally yield a striking missing energy signature, with cascade decays concluding in a neutralino that escapes the detector. In theories where R-parity is broken the missing energy is replaced with additional jets or leptons, often making traditional search strategies ineffective. Such R-parity violation is very constrained, however, by resulting B and L violating signals, requiring couplings so small that LSPs will decay outside the detector in all but a few scenarios. Read More

Within the context of supersymmetric theories, explaining a 125 GeV Higgs motivates a consideration of a broader range of models. We consider a simple addition to the MSSM of a "Sister Higgs" ($\Sigma_d$), a Higgs field that participates in electroweak symmetry breaking but does not give any direct masses to Standard Model matter fields. While a relatively minor addition, the phenomenological implications can be important. Read More

The effective interactions of dark matter with photons are fairly restricted. Yet both direct detection as well as monochromatic gamma ray signatures depend sensitively on the presence of such interactions. For a Dirac fermion, electromagnetic dipoles are possible, but are very constrained. Read More

We consider a simple class of models in which the dark matter, X, is coupled to a new gauge boson, phi, with a relatively low mass (m_phi \sim 100 MeV-3 GeV). Neither the dark matter nor the new gauge boson have tree-level couplings to the Standard Model. The dark matter in this model annihilates to phi pairs, and for a coupling of g_X \sim 0. Read More

Direct production of electroweakly charged states may not produce the high energy jets or the significant missing energy required in many new physics searches at the LHC. However, because these states produce leptons, they are still potentially detectable over the sizeable Standard Model backgrounds. We show that current LHC Higgs searches, particularly in the WW* and ZZ* channels, are sensitive to new electroweak states, such as supersymmetric charginos or neutralinos. Read More

The origin of the e^+e^- 511 keV line observed by INTEGRAL remains unclear. The rate and morphology of the signal have prompted questions as to whether dark matter could play a role. We explore the case of dark matter upscattering in the framework of eXciting Dark Matter (XDM), where WIMPs \chi, interacting through a new dark force, scatter into excited states \chi*, which subsequently emit e^+e^- pairs when they de-excite. Read More

In models of dark matter (DM) with Sommerfeld-enhanced annihilation, where the annihilation rate scales as the inverse velocity, N-body simulations of DM structure formation suggest that the local annihilation signal may be dominated by small, dense, cold subhalos. This contrasts with the usual assumption of a signal originating from the smooth DM halo, with much higher velocity dispersion. Accounting for local substructure modifies the parameter space for which Sommerfeld-enhanced annihilating DM can explain the PAMELA and Fermi excesses. Read More

We analyze the recently released CoGeNT data with a focus on their time-dependent properties. Using various statistical techniques, we confirm the presence of modulation in the data, and find a significant component at high (E_{ee} > 1.5$ keVee) energies. Read More

We consider the possibility of "Higgs counterfeits" - scalars that can be produced with cross sections comparable to the SM Higgs, and which decay with identical relative observable branching ratios, but which are nonetheless not responsible for electroweak symmetry breaking. We also consider a related scenario involving "Higgs friends," fields similarly produced through gg fusion processes, which would be discovered through diboson channels WW, ZZ, gamma gamma, or even gamma Z, potentially with larger cross sections times branching ratios than for the Higgs. The discovery of either a Higgs friend or a Higgs counterfeit, rather than directly pointing towards the origin of the weak scale, would indicate the presence of new colored fields necessary for the sizable production cross section (and possibly new colorless but electroweakly charged states as well, in the case of the diboson decays of a Higgs friend). Read More

We describe a method to couple Z' gauge bosons to the standard model (SM), without charging the SM fields under the U(1)', but instead through effective higher dimension operators. This method allows complete control over the tree-level couplings of the Z' and does not require altering the structure of any of the SM couplings, nor does it contain anomalies or require introduction of fields in non-standard SM representations. Moreover, such interactions arise from simple renormalizable extensions of the SM - the addition of vector-like matter that mixes with SM fermions when the U(1)' is broken. Read More

Recent full-sky maps of the Galaxy from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope have revealed a diffuse component of emission towards the Galactic center and extending up to roughly +/-50 degrees in latitude. This Fermi "haze" is the inverse Compton emission generated by the same electrons which generate the microwave synchrotron haze at WMAP wavelengths. The gamma-ray haze has two distinct characteristics: the spectrum is significantly harder than emission elsewhere in the Galaxy and the morphology is elongated in latitude with respect to longitude with an axis ratio ~2. Read More

We show that cold dark matter particles interacting through a Yukawa potential could naturally explain the recently observed cores in dwarf galaxies without affecting the dynamics of objects with a much larger velocity dispersion, such as clusters of galaxies. The velocity dependence of the associated cross-section as well as the possible exothermic nature of the interaction alleviates earlier concerns about strongly interacting dark matter. Dark matter evaporation in low-mass objects might explain the observed deficit of satellite galaxies in the Milky Way halo and have important implications for the first galaxies and reionization. Read More

Anomalies in direct and indirect detection have motivated models of dark matter consisting of a multiplet of nearly-degenerate states, coupled by a new GeV-scale interaction. We perform a careful analysis of the thermal freezeout of dark matter annihilation in such a scenario. We compute the range of "boost factors" arising from Sommerfeld enhancement in the local halo for models which produce the correct relic density, and show the effect of including constraints on the saturated enhancement from the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Read More

Underground searches for dark matter involve a complicated interplay of particle physics, nuclear physics, atomic physics and astrophysics. We attempt to remove the uncertainties associated with astrophysics by developing the means to map the observed signal in one experiment directly into a predicted rate at another. We argue that it is possible to make experimental comparisons that are completely free of astrophysical uncertainties by focusing on {\em integral} quantities, such as $g(v_{min})=\int_{v_{min}} dv\, f(v)/v $ and $\int_{v_{thresh}} dv\, v g(v)$. Read More

Iodine is distinguished from other elements used in dark matter direct detection experiments both by its large mass as well as its large magnetic moment. Inelastic dark matter utilizes the large mass of iodine to allay tensions between the DAMA annual modulation signature and the null results from other experiments. We explore models of inelastic dark matter that also take advantage of the second distinct property of iodine, namely its large magnetic moment. Read More

The inelastic dark matter scenario was proposed to reconcile the DAMA annual modulation with null results from other experiments. In this scenario, WIMPs scatter into an excited state, split from the ground state by an energy delta comparable to the available kinetic energy of a Galactic WIMP. We note that for large splittings delta, the dominant scattering at DAMA can occur off of thallium nuclei, with A~205, which are present as a dopant at the 10^-3 level in NaI(Tl) crystals. Read More

Recently, the CoGeNT experiment has reported events in excess of expected background. We analyze dark matter scenarios which can potentially explain this signal. Under the standard case of spin independent scattering with equal couplings to protons and neutrons, we find significant tensions with existing constraints. Read More

In direct dark matter detection experiments, conventional elastic scattering of WIMPs results in exponentially falling recoil spectra. In contrast, theories of WIMPs with excited states can lead to nuclear recoil spectra that peak at finite recoil energies E_R. The peaks of such signals are typically fairly broad, with Delta E_R/E_peak ~ 1. Read More

Recent data from cosmic ray experiments such as PAMELA, Fermi, ATIC and PPB-BETS all suggest the need for a new primary source of electrons and positrons at high (>~100 GeV) energies. Many proposals have been put forth to explain these data, usually relying on a single particle to annihilate or decay to produce e+e-. In this paper, we consider models with multiple species of WIMPs with significantly different masses. Read More


The Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope reveals a diffuse inverse Compton signal in the inner Galaxy with a similar spatial morphology to the microwave haze observed by WMAP, supporting the synchrotron interpretation of the microwave signal. Using spatial templates, we regress out pi0 gammas, as well as IC and bremsstrahlung components associated with known soft-synchrotron counterparts. We find a significant gamma-ray excess towards the Galactic center with a spectrum that is significantly harder than other sky components and is most consistent with IC from a hard population of electrons. Read More

We study the phenomenology of mixed-sneutrino dark matter in the Minimal R-Symmetric Supersymmetric Standard Model (MRSSM). Mixed sneutrinos fit naturally within the MRSSM, as the smallness (or absence) of neutrino Yukawa couplings singles out sneutrino A-terms as the only ones not automatically forbidden by R-symmetry. We perform a study of randomly generated sneutrino mass matrices and find that (i) the measured value of $\Omega_{DM}$ is well within the range of typical values obtained for the relic abundance of the lightest sneutrino, (ii) with small lepton-number-violating mass terms $m_{nn}^{2} {\tilde n} {\tilde n}$ for the right-handed sneutrinos, random matrices satisfying the $\Omega_{DM}$ constraint have a decent probability of satisfying direct detection constraints, and much of the remaining parameter space will be probed by upcoming experiments, (iii) the $m_{nn}^{2} {\tilde n} {\tilde n}$ terms radiatively generate appropriately small Majorana neutrino masses, with neutrino oscillation data favoring a mostly sterile lightest sneutrino with a dominantly mu/tau-flavored active component, and (iv) a sneutrino LSP with a significant mu component can lead to striking signals of e-mu flavor violation in dilepton invariant-mass distributions at the LHC. Read More

In this paper we discuss two mechanisms by which high energy electrons resulting from dark matter annihilations in or near the Sun can arrive at the Earth. Specifically, electrons can escape the sun if DM annihilates into long-lived states, or if dark matter scatters inelastically, which would leave a halo of dark matter outside of the sun. Such a localized source of electrons may affect the spectra observed by experiments with narrower fields of view oriented towards the sun, such as ATIC, differently from those with larger fields of view such as Fermi. Read More

Recent data from cosmic ray experiments may be explained by a new GeV scale of physics. In addition the fine-tuning of supersymmetric models may be alleviated by new O(GeV) states into which the Higgs boson could decay. The presence of these new, light states can affect early universe cosmology. Read More

It is usually assumed that WIMPs interact through spin-independent and spin-dependent interactions. Interactions which carry additional powers of the momentum transfer, q^2, are assumed to be too small to be relevant. In theories with new particles at the ~ GeV scale, however, these q^2-dependent interactions can be large, and, in some cases dominate over the standard interactions. Read More

Recently, a preliminary spectrum from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has been presented for the inner galaxy (-30 < l < 30, -5 < b < 5), as well as the galactic center (-1 < l < 1, -1< b < 1). We consider the implications of these data for dark matter annihilation models, especially models capable of producing the cosmic-ray excesses previously observed by PAMELA and Fermi. These local cosmic-ray excesses, when extrapolated to the inner galaxy, imply inverse Compton scattering (ICS) gamma-ray signals largely consistent with the preliminary Fermi gamma-ray spectrum. Read More

The DAMA/LIBRA collaboration has detected an annual modulation of the recoil rate in NaI crystals with the phase expected for WIMP scattering events. This signal is dramatically inconsistent with upper limits from other experiments for elastically scattering weak-scale WIMPs. However, the results are compatible for the case of inelastic dark matter (iDM). Read More

We compute the capture rate for Dark Matter in the Sun for models where the dominant interaction with nuclei is inelastic -- the Dark Matter up-scatters to a nearby dark "partner" state with a small splitting of order a 100 keV. Such models have previously been shown to be compatible with DAMA/LIBRA data, as well as data from all other direct detection experiments. The kinematics of inelastic Dark Matter ensures that the dominant contribution to capture occurs from scattering off of iron. Read More

Models of dark matter with ~ GeV scale force mediators provide attractive explanations of many high energy anomalies, including PAMELA, ATIC, and the WMAP haze. At the same time, by exploiting the ~ MeV scale excited states that are automatically present in such theories, these models naturally explain the DAMA/LIBRA and INTEGRAL signals through the inelastic dark matter (iDM) and exciting dark matter (XDM) scenarios, respectively. Interestingly, with only weak kinetic mixing to hypercharge to mediate decays, the lifetime of excited states with delta < 2 m_e is longer than the age of the universe. Read More

Recent results from the PAMELA experiment indicate an excess in the positron spectrum above 10 GeV, but anti-proton data are consistent with the expected astrophysical backgrounds. We propose a scenario that reproduces these features. Dark matter annihilates through channels involving a new heavy vectorlike lepton which then decays by mixing with Standard Model leptons. Read More

Multiple lines of evidence indicate an anomalous injection of high-energy e+- in the Galactic halo. The recent $e^+$ fraction spectrum from the Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics (PAMELA) shows a sharp rise up to 100 GeV. The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has found a significant hardening of the e+e- cosmic ray spectrum above 100 GeV, with a break, confirmed by HESS at around 1 TeV. Read More

Recently published results from the PAMELA experiment have shown conclusive evidence for an excess of positrons at high (~ 10 - 100 GeV) energies, confirming earlier indications from HEAT and AMS-01. Such a signal is generally expected from dark matter annihilations. However, the hard positron spectrum and large amplitude are difficult to achieve in most conventional WIMP models. Read More

We consider the nuclear scattering cross section for the eXciting Dark Matter (XDM) model. In XDM, the Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) couple to the Standard Model only via an intermediate light scalar which mixes with the Higgs: this leads to a suppression in the nuclear scattering cross section relative to models in which the WIMPs couple to the Higgs directly. We estimate this suppression factor to be of order 10^(-5). Read More

A new theory of WIMP Dark Matter has been proposed, motivated directly by striking Data from the PAMELA and ATIC collaborations. The WIMP is taken to be charged under a hidden gauge symmetry G_Dark, broken near the GeV scale; this also provides the necessary ingredients for the "exciting" and "inelastic" Dark Matter interpretations of the INTEGRAL and DAMA signals. In this short note we point out the consequences of the most straightforward embedding of this simple picture within low-energy SUSY, in which G_Dark breaking at the GeV scale arises naturally through radiative corrections, or Planck-suppressed operators. Read More

We propose a comprehensive theory of dark matter that explains the recent proliferation of unexpected observations in high-energy astrophysics. Cosmic ray spectra from ATIC and PAMELA require a WIMP with mass M_chi ~ 500 - 800 GeV that annihilates into leptons at a level well above that expected from a thermal relic. Signals from WMAP and EGRET reinforce this interpretation. Read More

Recent preliminary results from the PAMELA experiment indicate the presence of an excess of cosmic ray positrons above 10 GeV. In this letter, we consider possibility that this signal is the result of dark matter annihilations taking place in the halo of the Milky Way. Rather than focusing on a specific particle physics model, we take a phenomenological approach and consider a variety of masses and two-body annihilation modes, including W+W-, ZZ, b bbar, tau+ tau-, mu+ mu-, and e+e. Read More

A weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) weighing only a few GeV has been invoked as an explanation for the signal from the DAMA/LIBRA experiment. We show that the data from DAMA/LIBRA are now powerful enough to strongly constrain the properties of any putative WIMP. Accounting for the detailed recoil spectrum, a light WIMP with a Maxwellian velocity distribution and a spin-independent (SI) interaction cannot account for the data. Read More