Direct detection in new regimes

TYPEHigh Energy Physics Seminar
Speaker:Ben Lehmann
Organizer:Yotam Soreq
Time:11:30 - 12:45
Location:Lidow Nathan Rosen (300)

The WIMP may not be dead, but its decline has opened a number of new frontiers in the search for dark matter, spanning a vast range of scales. This is problematic for traditional direct detection searches: decades of development have produced detectors that are extremely sensitive to weak-scale dark matter, but nearly blind to other important targets. The growing scope of our search thus calls for new experimental ideas. At masses well below the weak scale, I will describe a new conceptual framework for the treatment of dark matter--electron interaction rates based on the detectors' dielectric properties, making it possible to leverage the complicated condensed matter physics of detector materials for more sensitive experiments. I will share recent applications of this method to real superconducting detectors, resulting in new constraints on sub-MeV dark matter. On the other hand, far above the weak scale, I will discuss the potential for existing technologies to probe dark matter at the Planck scale --- and, in particular, the exotic possibility of detecting black holes in the laboratory.