As the LHC continues to search for new weakly interacting particles, it is important to remember that the search is strongly motivated by the existence of dark matter. In view of a possible positive signal, it is essential to ask whether the newly discovered weakly interacting particle can be be assigned the label "dark matter". Within a given set of simplified models and modest working assumptions, we reinterpret the relic abundance bound as a relic abundance range, and compare the parameter space yielding the correct relic abundance with projections of the Run II exclusion regions. Assuming that dark matter is within the reach of the LHC, we also make the comparison with the potential 5$\sigma$ discovery regions. Reversing the logic, relic density calculations can be used to optimize dark matter searches by motivating choices of parameters where the LHC can probe most deeply into the dark matter parameter space. In the event that DM is seen outside of the region giving the correct relic abundance, we will learn that either thermal relic DM is ruled out in that model, or the DM-quark coupling is suppressed relative to the DM coupling strength to other SM particles.
Département de Physique Théorique Université de Genève 24, quai Ernest Ansermet 1211 Genève 4 Switzerland Directions & contact