Special Physics Colloquium: Dr. Rachel Houtz

Wed. Apr. 21 02:00 PM - Wed. Apr. 21 03:00 PM
Location: via Zoom

The department of Physics would like to invite the community to attend the following presentation for tenure-track consideration.

Dr. Rachel Houtz
Postdoctoral Fellow
Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP)
Durham University, England, UK


Heavy Axions and Scanning Dark Matter

In this talk, we explore how additional sources of mass can be used to dramatically alter the phenomenology of elusive particles. First, we examine a model that solves the strong CP problem with a heavy composite axion. Small-sized instantons push the axion mass up to the TeV scale, giving signals observable at colliders. Second, we discuss the interplay of the symmetry breaking effects responsible for the mass of composite axions and the associated gravitational wave signals. Finally, we present a model of dark matter with a temperature-dependent source of mass. The dark matter mass falls from heavy to light as the universe cools and scans through a period of resonantly enhanced dark matter production. The shifting mass itself also increases the dark matter abundance. In these examples, the addition of new mass sources reveals rich phenomenology, suggesting search directions outside the typical regions associated with these proposed new particles.


For an invitation to this event, please contact Andrea Wiebe at