Speaker: Kerstin Perez

Organization: Columbia University

Sponsor: Physics Colloquium

The question of the origin of dark matter, the mysterious matter known to permeate the universe, is one of the towering problems of 21st-century physics. Astronomical surveys have already ruled out the existence of enough heavy conventional objects to account for this difference. Thus searches now focus on finding entirely new massive particles. Dozens dark matter search experiments are currently planned or ongoing, but these efforts have been hampered by the large background rates from conventional astrophysical processes and the vast array of signatures that could indicate a dark matter interaction. The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) experiment aims to advance these searches by detecting low-energy antideuterons that result from the self-annihilation of dark matter particles in the galactic halo, providing an essentially background-free signature of dark matter. This signal probes supersymmetry, extra-dimensional theories, and other modes dark matter production, complementing and extending the reach of current experiments. In this seminar, I will present the design and discovery potential of the GAPS experiment, especially in the context of recent dark matter results.

Host: Assistant Professor Toyoko Orimoto