The astroparticle road to new physics

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Physics

Abstract

Imagine living your life in a 5-person household where you don't know the names or faces of your 4 housemates. This is the situation astronomers and particle physicists find themselves in right now with the matter in our own Milky Way Galaxy. Dark matter makes up over 80% of the Milky Way, and the Universe as a whole, but we still don't know what it actually is.

Many theories predict that this mystery is in some way associated with the Higgs boson, the origin of mass, and the existence of an as-yet-undiscovered symmetry about to be unveiled at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). My research aims to uncover the identity of dark matter, and the broader particle theory responsible for it.

Using cutting-edge statistical techniques only developed in the last few years, my research program will combine the results of searches for dark matter and new symmetries from a huge number of different experiments. These range from the LHC to smaller particle colliders, gamma-ray telescopes, cosmic antimatter probes, ultra-clean experiments in the world's deepest mines, and a neutrino telescope embedded in the Antarctic ice at the South Pole. The result will be the first truly comprehensive analysis of theories for dark matter and new physics, painting a much clearer picture of what dark matter is, and what it isn't. Excitingly, this research program may identify many more new, related particles than just dark matter, and give predictions for others to be discovered in the near future. The statistical and computational tools that I develop for this research program will also serve the broader particle and astrophysics communities during and beyond my fellowship, as they will be available as public, open source projects.

Publications

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Albert A (2017) Towards the next generation of simplified Dark Matter models in Physics of the Dark Universe

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Albert A (2017) Towards the next generation of simplified Dark Matter models in Physics of the Dark Universe

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Anthonisen M (2015) Constraints on cosmic strings from ultracompact minihalos in Physical Review D

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Aslanyan G (2016) Ultracompact Minihalos as Probes of Inflationary Cosmology. in Physical review letters

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Aslanyan G (2015) Ultracompact minihalos as probes of inflationary cosmology in arXiv preprint arXiv:1512.04597

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Athron P (2017) Status of the scalar singlet dark matter model in The European Physical Journal C

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Athron P (2017) Status of the scalar singlet dark matter model in The European Physical Journal C

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Athron P (2017) Global fits of GUT-scale SUSY models with GAMBIT in The European Physical Journal C

 
Description I have performed the most comprehensive evaluations of the three most promising theories for the identity of dark matter: supersymmetry, Higgs-portal dark matter, and axions.
Exploitation Route - Used to perform experimental searches for new particles
- Used to make new predictions of experimental signatures of new particles
- Used to guide the development of new theories for the identity of dark matter and other new particles
- Numerical algorithms used to perform optimisation
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Construction,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Retail,Transport

 
Description My predictions for the sensitivity of CTA to dark matter signals have been used by other researchers to assess the ability of the proposed instrument to detect dark matter. My measurements of the chemical composition of the Sun have been used to provide a definitional baseline for studies of a wide range of astronomical objects. My calculations of conductive heat transport by dark matter have provided theoretical input required for testing specific dark matter models. My particle physics global fits have provided the most complete tests to date of the leading theories for new particles.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Other
 
Description Imperial College PhD Scholarship (as supervisor of James McKay)
Amount £110,000 (GBP)
Organisation Imperial College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 07/2018
 
Title GAMBIT 
Description The Global and Modular Beyond-the-Standard Model Inference Tool 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Produced many new global analyses of theories for new particles and forces. 
URL http://gambit.hepforge.org
 
Title nulike 
Description A computer code to calculate the impact of neutrino telescope data on dark matter theories. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The new tool allowed the IceCube Collaboration to produce the strongest limits to date on the interactions of dark matter with nuclei. 
URL http://nulike.hepforge.org
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation Fermilab - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation Harvard University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation Laboratoire de Physique Corpusculaire de Clermont-Ferrand
Department Physics
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation Monash University
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS)
Department Laboratoire d'Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique Théorique (LAPTh)
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation Stockholm University
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation University of Adelaide
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation University of Amsterdam
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation University of Oslo
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation University of Sydney
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation University of Utah
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description GAMBIT 
Organisation University of Zurich
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Collaboration, and take responsibility for organising its core physics and software development work, as well as carrying out large parts of that work.
Collaborator Contribution Different partners contribute to different specific areas of the software development and physics analyses, according to their skills and expertise. Representatives of e.g. ATLAS, Fermi, CDMS and other particle/astroparticle experiments take care of the software development work pertaining to their particular experiment and/or sub-field.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, involving: - Astronomy - Statistics - Computer Science - Theoretical Particle Physics - Experimental Particle Physics - Theoretical Astroparticle Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Start Year 2012
 
Description Physics World article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I wrote published the magazine article "When supercomputers go over to the dark side", Physics World, pp. 42-46, March 2017, together with colleague Martin White. This has sparked a lot of interest in my research project from colleagues in other areas of physics, and from members of the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://live.iop-pp01.agh.sleek.net/2017/02/26/when-supercomputers-go-over-to-the-dark-side/