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The Moment of Truth for WIMP Dark Matter

Objective

Identifying Dark Matter is a top priority in Particle Physics and Cosmology. Among Dark Matter candidates, WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) play a special role, since they naturally arise from well motivated extensions of the standard model of particle physics. As I have argued in a recent \textsl{Nature} paper, with the advent of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and of a new generation of astroparticle experiments, the moment of truth has come for WIMPs, for we will either discover them in the next 5 to 10 years, or we will inevitably witness the decline of the WIMP paradigm.
My collaborators and I have actually been preparing for this crucial moment for Dark Matter searches by setting up sophisticated statistical tools, strong connections with experimental collaborations, and an extensive expertise in theoretical models. We are now ready to perform the most complete analysis of Dark Matter data (from direct, indirect and accelerator searches, including all astrophysical uncertainties) in the framework of the most promising BSM (Beyond the Standard Model) theories, including Supersymmetry and Universal Extra Dimensions.
Backed from a well established network of international collaborators, this project aims at becoming part of the theoretical backbone of astroparticle activities in Europe, and to exploit the data that will become available from the LHC at CERN, as well as from several infrastructures included in the ESFRI and ASPERA roadmaps, such as underground Dark Matter detectors and Neutrinos and Cherenkov Telescopes. No matter what the experimental results are, the impact on our understanding of the Universe will be dramatic, for we will either severely constrain possible extensions of the Standard Model, and push them to unnatural territory, or we will finally obtain incontrovertible for Dark Matter, therefore opening a new era in Particle Physics and Cosmology.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/astrophysics/dark matter
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particle physics
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/physical cosmology

Call for proposal

ERC-2011-StG_20101014
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
Address
Spui 21
1012WX Amsterdam
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 248 120
Principal investigator
Gianfranco Bertone (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Jo Lansbergen (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 1 248 120
Address
Spui 21
1012WX Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Gianfranco Bertone (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Jo Lansbergen (Ms.)