Cosmological observations of certain galaxies suggest that the amount of known, measured matter accounted for by the Standard Model of Particle Physics (SM) in those systems is insufficient to account for galactic mechanics (orbital paths and velocities). These observations have led physicists to believe that either General Relativity (GR) is incomplete, or that there exist new sources of yet-to-be detected matter, that may or may not be consistent with SM, called dark matter. Neither GR nor the SM can alone be considered complete theories of the universe for GR is not quantum
mechanical and the SM does not include GR. Modifications to GR are actively being considered especially since it is manifestly classical and not quantum mechanical. Extensions to the SM are also actively being researched both to include gravity and to fill voids in the SM such as the Strong CP (Charge-Parity) Violation Problem as well as the Hierarchy Problem. However, at the galactic scale, GR’s successes have led many other research groups to conclude that the answer is instead dark matter. Leading theories suggest that dark matter could be a particle of some kind that would have to be heavy and weakly interacting (which is yet to be observed). Different theories of what this particle could be have been proposed as extensions to the SM introducing new particles such as the Axion and theWeakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP). My thesis will focus on surveying the leading dark matter particle candidate searches mainly by discussing research done to reproduce velocity distribution curves of galaxies and galaxy clusters and highlighting important characteristics of Quantum Field Theory (QFT) and the SM studied this semester, both studied this semester. Overall, my thesis allows me to explore the leading theoretical physics theories and study some of the most compelling researchers of our time working on this problem, with impact from particle physics and the SM to galactic physics and GR - all of which I hope to pursue in graduate school following Bridgewater State University.
Dr. Edward Deveney, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Thomas Kling, Committee Member
Dr. Jeffrey Williams, Committee Member
Copyright and Permissions
Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Martell, Tyler. (2019). A Survey of Dark Matter Candidates and Relations to Particle Physics and General Relativity. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 387. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/387
Copyright © 2019 Tyler Martell