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Dark Matter Universe: On the Threshold of Discovery

Organized by Michael S. Turner, Roger D. Blandford, Edward W. Kolb, and Maria Spiropulu

Co-sponsored by the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at Chicago

This meeting took place at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, CA October 18-20, 2012.


The dark matter problem today is central to astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics. The leading particle candidates for the dark matter are the Weakly Interacting Massive Particle or WIMP and the ultra-light axion.  The WIMP is strongly motivated by supersymmetry and detectable by three separate means: production at a particle accelerator, direct detection of the WIMPs that comprise our Galactic halo, and indirect detection by the annihilation products of WIMPs.

With the ramping up of LHC operations, the increased sensitivity of direct detection experiments and new “telescopes” like Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer AMS, IceCube, and the Payload for Antimatter-Matter Exploration and Light nuclei Astrophysics PAMELA that can detect WIMP annihilation products, the next decade is set to be the time of truth for the WIMP hypothesis.  Foreshadowing this, there have been recent claims of detection by both the direct and indirect methods spurring new theoretical ideas, much discussion and productive confusion! This timely symposium will bring together the astronomers and physicists, the observers and the experimenters, the phenomenologists and the theorists to assess the present situation and plan for the future. 

Thursday, October 18

Distinctive Voices Public Lecture
Dark Matter Universe, Edward Kolb, University of Chicago

Friday, October 19

Welcome remarks, Michael Turner, University of Chicago

Session I. Dark Matter in the Universe

What the Universe has Taught us About Dark Matter, Joe Silk, Oxford University

Current status of Cold Dark Matter (CDM) Scenario of Structure Formation, Simon White, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astrophysik

Panel: Current CDM Controversies (satellites, cluster baryon fraction, cusps, need for warm dark matter, velocity structure) 
                   Moderator: David Weinberg, Ohio State University
                   Panelists: James Bullock, University of California, Irvine; Fabio Governato, University of Washington; Rachel Kuzio de Naray, Royal Military College of Canada; Annika Peter, University of California, Irvine

Session II. Dark Matter from the Early Universe and in Particle Physics

 Dark Matter from the Early Universe and Particle Physics Candidates, Jonathan Feng, University of California, Irvine

Non-SUSY WIMP candidates (including light WIMPs), Kathryn Zurek, University of Michigan

Neutrino Dark Matter, Yvonne Wong, RWTH Aachen University

Session III. Laboratory Production of Dark Matter

Search for Dark Matter at the LHC (ATLAS), Ian Hinchliffe, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Search for Dark Matter at the LHC (CMS), Maria Spiropulu, California Institute of Technology

SUSY Dark Matter in Light of the LHC Results, Michael Peskin, Stanford University

Panel: Implications of the LHC results for Dark Matter 
                 Moderator: Joe Lykken, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
                 Panelists: Daniele Alves, Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics; Frank Wuerthwein, University of California, San Diego; Tim Tait, University of California, Irvine

Keynote: Thoughts on Research in the Dark, Jim Peebles, Princeton University

Bus departs Beckman Center for Newport Beach Marriott Hotel

Saturday, October 20

Session IV. Direct Detection of Halo Dark Matter

Summary of Direct Detection WIMP Experiments, Mike Witherell, University of California, Santa Barbara

Panel discussion: Current Controversies
                  Moderator: Michael Turner, University of Chicago
                  Panelists: Rafael Lang, Purdue University; Juan Collar, University of Chicago; Eric Armengaud, CEA/IRFU; Bernard Sadoulet, University of California, Berkeley

Axion Dark Matter, Leslie Rosenberg, University of Washington

Session V. Indirect Detection of Dark Matter through Annihilation Products

Overview of Indirect Detection, Stefan Funk, Stanford University

Indirect Detection by Neutrinos, Doug Cowen, Pennsylvania State University

Separating Astrophysical Sources from the Dark Matter Annihilation Signal, Jennifer Siegal-Gaskins, California Institute of Technology

Panel: Role of Indirect Detection in Identifying Dark Matter
                 Moderator: Steve Ritz, University of California, Santa Cruz
                 Panelists:  James Buckley, Washington University in St. Louis; Simona Murgia, University of California, Irvine; Douglas Finkbeiner, Harvard University; Carsten Rott, Ohio State University

Session VI. Final Session

New Ideas About Dark Matter, Erik Verlinde, University of Amsterdam

New Ideas About Dark Matter, Gia Dvali, New York University

What will it take to Convince me that the Dark Matter Problem has been Solved? (Astronomer's View) Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Princeton University

What will it take to Convince me that the Dark Matter Problem has been Solved? David Gross, University of California, Santa Barbara

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