Making dark matter out of light

Monday, March 8, 2021 - 4:15pm
Pappalardo Fellow & NASA Einstein Fellow in the MIT Department of Physics
Public Lecture: 

Dark matter could be a “thermal-ish" relic of freeze-in, where the dark matter is produced by extremely feeble interactions with Standard Model particles dominantly at low temperatures. In this talk, I will discuss how dark matter can be made through freeze-in, accounting for a dominant channel where the dark matter gets produced by the decay of plasmons (photons that have an in-medium mass in the primordial plasma of our Universe). I will also explain how the resulting non-thermal dark matter velocity distribution can impact cosmological evolution, setting the stage for using the dark matter phase space as a handle for indirectly detecting dark matter in the future.