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Origins for dark matter particles : from the "WIMP miracle" to the "FIMP wonder"

Abstract : For more than eighty years, we face evidence that about 26% of the energy budget of the universe today is in the form of dark matter, whose interaction with ordinary matter is felt only gravitationally. Along with massive neutrinos, the existence of dark matter particles (DM) indicate that we must extend the standard model of particle physics (SM) in order to account for them. In this thesis, we explore the close relationship between the nature of couplings connecting DM to the SM sector and the production of the DM relic density in the Early Universe. We start by considering the most predictive class of DM candidates, the weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). Their masses and couplings are comparable to the SM ones, which ensure that both sectors were once in thermal equilibrium and automatically render the DM relic density within the inferred range -- the so-called "WIMP miracle". The current experimental bounds push the viable parameter space of WIMP models to complex corners, making necessary to add extra particles in the dark sector and to check the decoupling condition more carefully. After reviewing the phenomenological status of a comprehensive spectrum of models for WIMPs with masses in the range 10-10⁴ GeV, we consider the challenging phenomenology of an MeV DM in a Z' portal model. Besides seeking to improve the search for WIMPs, it is worth considering the case in which DM and SM interact so feebly that they had never reached equilibrium. Feebly interacting massive particles (FIMPs) are DM candidates produced from the SM thermal bath in out-of-equilibrium processes, a mechanism called freeze-in. We show that if heavy fields (10¹⁰-10¹⁶ GeV) mediate the DM-SM interactions, the freeze-in is a natural possibility that provide the right amount of DM in the universe without the need of extremely small gauge, yukawa or quartic couplings. Such heavy fields are actually needed in theoretically well motivated high-energy scenarios like for instance GUT, seesaw, leptogenesis and inflation -- we call this interesting coincidence the "FIMP wonder". We explore different realizations of such possibility, with models involving moduli, fermions, gauge bosons and spin-2 fields as heavy mediators. We finally show in which cases the DM production during reheating have impact on the parameter space of such models.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 10:15:09 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:00:21 AM


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Maíra Dutra. Origins for dark matter particles : from the "WIMP miracle" to the "FIMP wonder". High Energy Physics - Phenomenology [hep-ph]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLS059⟩. ⟨tel-02100637⟩



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