Javier Fernandez Acevedo
McDonald Institute at Queen's University
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
An intriguing possibility for dark matter is that it formed bound states in the early Universe, much like the Standard Model fundamental particles formed nucleons, nuclei and atoms, in a scenario called “composite” dark matter. One of the simplest composite dark matter models consists of dark matter fermions bound together by a real scalar field. Composite states that are massive enough source a scalar field so intense that nuclei, when coupled to this binding field, accelerate upon contact with the composite to energies capable of various collisional processes, including ionization, thermal bremsstrahlung and even nuclear fusion. Such observable effects occur even when the coupling between nuclei and the binding field is vanishingly small, and have implications for the detection of dark matter through experiments and astrophysical observations. In this seminar, I will discuss the detection prospects for these composite states by considering the Migdal effect at dark matter direct detection experiments and thermal bremsstrahlung at large neutrino observatories, as well as their impact on the evolution of stellar objects.