Exploration of models of dark matter and portals to new physics

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2023-12

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Although the Standard Model of particle physics has seen tremendous experimental success, there remain still unanswered questions. One such question is the nature of dark matter, which has been only observed through its gravitational effects and yet comprises about 80% of all matter in the Universe. Many models have been proposed to solve the dark matter problem and other open questions, although they can face severe experimental constraints, especially from data from particle colliders. The paradigm of probing new physics through portals, which are gauge-neutral Standard Model operators, alleviates many of these constraints. In this dissertation I explore the phenomenology of three different models of new physics. The first model proposes a setup of lepton-flavored dark matter in a 5-dimensional setup in which lepton flavor violating processes are naturally suppressed. The second model proposes that dark matter is a composite state emerging from a rich strongly-coupled beyond-Standard Model sector which also contains states coupling to neutrinos, such that the dark matter communicates to the Standard Model via a neutrino portal. In the third model, we propose a strongly-coupled beyond-Standard Model sector which interacts with the Standard Model through both a neutrino portal and a Higgs portal, resulting in collider signatures which are nontrivially different from those of either type of portal separately.

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