One-electron atoms in screened modified gravity [CEA]

In a large class of scalar-tensor theories that are potential candidates for dark energy, a non-minimal coupling between the scalar and the photon is possible. The presence of such an interaction grants us the exciting prospect of directly observing dark sector phenomenology in the electromagnetic spectrum. This paper investigates the behavior of one-electron atoms in this class of modified gravity models, exploring their viability as probes of deviations from general relativity in both laboratory and astrophysical settings. Building heavily on earlier studies, our main contribution is threefold: a thorough analysis finds additional fine structure corrections previously unaccounted for, which now predict a contribution to the Lamb shift larger by nearly four orders of magnitude. Secondly, we include the effects of the nuclear magnetic moment, allowing for the study of hyperfine structure and the 21 cm line, which hitherto have been unexplored in this context. Finally, we also examine how a background scalar leads to equivalence principle violations.

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L. Wong and A. Davis
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 10 pages, 2 figures. Submitted to PRD

Recommendations of the LHC Dark Matter Working Group: Comparing LHC searches for heavy mediators of dark matter production in visible and invisible decay channels [CL]

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. These suggestions include how to extend the spin-1 mediated simplified models already in widespread use to include lepton couplings. This document also provides analytic calculations of the relic density in the simplified models and reports an issue that arose when ATLAS and CMS first began to use preliminary numerical calculations of the dark matter relic density in these models.

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A. Albert, M. Backovic, A. Boveia, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 19 pages, 4 figures

Lectures on the Infrared Structure of Gravity and Gauge Theory [CL]

This is a redacted transcript of a course given by the author at Harvard in spring semester 2016. It contains a pedagogical overview of recent developments connecting the subjects of soft theorems, the memory effect and asymptotic symmetries in four-dimensional QED, nonabelian gauge theory and gravity with applications to black holes. The lectures may be viewed online at Please send typos or corrections to

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A. Strominger
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 154 pages, 21 figures

Pulsar Timing Constraints on Physics Beyond the Standard Model [CL]

We argue that massive quantum fields source low-frequency long-wavelength metric fluctuations through the quantum fluctuations of their stress-energy, given reasonable assumptions about the analytic structure of its correlators. This can be traced back to the non-local nature of the gauge symmetry in General Relativity, which prevents an efficient screening of UV scales (what we call the cosmological non-constant problem). We define a covariant and gauge-invariant observable which probes line-of-sight spacetime curvature fluctuations on an observer’s past lightcone, and show that current pulsar timing data constrains any massive particle to $m\lesssim 600$ GeV. This astrophysical bound severely limits the possibilities for physics beyond the standard model below the scale of quantum gravity.

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N. Afshordi, H. Kim and E. Nelson
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures; comments welcome

Secluded and Flipped Dark Matter and Stueckelberg Extensions of the Standard Model [CL]

We consider here three dark matter models with the gauge symmetry of the standard model plus an additional local $U(1)_D$ factor. One model is secluded and two models are flipped. All of these models include one dark fermion and one vector boson that attains mass through the Stueckelberg mechanism. We show that the flipped models provide examples dark matter composed of “least interacting particles” (LIPs). Such particles are therefore compatible with the constraints obtained from both laboratory measurements and astrophysical observations.

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E. Fortes, V. Pleitez and F. Stecker
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 6 pages, no figures

When the Universe Expands Too Fast: Relentless Dark Matter [CL]

We consider a modification to the standard cosmological history consisting of introducing a new species $\phi$ whose energy density red-shifts with the scale factor $a$ like $\rho_\phi \propto a^{-(4+n)}$. For $n>0$, such a red-shift is faster than radiation, hence the new species dominates the energy budget of the universe at early times while it is completely negligible at late times. If equality with the radiation energy density is achieved at low enough temperatures, dark matter can be produced as a thermal relic during the new cosmological phase. Dark matter freeze-out then occurs at higher temperatures compared to the standard case, implying that reproducing the observed abundance requires significantly larger annihilation rates. Here, we point out a completely new phenomenon, which we refer to as $\textit{relentless}$ dark matter: for large enough $n$, unlike the standard case where annihilation ends shortly after the departure from thermal equilibrium, dark matter particles keep annihilating long after leaving chemical equilibrium, with a significant depletion of the final relic abundance. Relentless annihilation occurs for $n \geq 2$ and $n \geq 4$ for s-wave and p-wave annihilation, respectively, and it thus occurs in well motivated scenarios such as a quintessence with a kination phase. We discuss a few microscopic realizations for the new cosmological component and highlight the phenomenological consequences of our calculations for dark matter searches.

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F. DEramo, N. Fernandez and S. Profumo
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: 14 pages, 9 figures

A search for sterile neutrinos with the latest cosmological observations [CEA]

We report the result of a search for sterile neutrinos with the latest cosmological observations. Both cases of massless and massive sterile neutrinos are considered in the $\Lambda$CDM cosmology. The cosmological observations used in this work include the Planck 2015 temperature and polarization data, the baryon acoustic oscillation data, the Hubble constant direct measurement data, the Planck Sunyaev-Zeldovich cluster counts data, the Planck lensing data, and the cosmic shear data. We find that the current observational data give a hint of the existence of massless sterile neutrino (as dark radiation) at the 1.44$\sigma$ level, and the consideration of an extra massless sterile neutrino can indeed relieve the tension between observations and improve the cosmological fit. For the case of massive sterile neutrino, the observations give a rather tight upper limit on the mass, which implies that actually a massless sterile neutrino is more favored. Our result is consistent with the recent result of neutrino oscillation experiment done by the Daya Bay and MINOS collaborations, as well as the recent result of cosmic ray experiment done by the IceCube collaboration.

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L. Feng, J. Zhang and X. Zhang
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: 15 pages, 4 figures