This series consists of talks in the areas of Particle Physics, High Energy Physics & Quantum Field Theory.
Cold dark matter provides a remarkably good description of cosmology and astrophysics. However, observations connected with small scales might be in tension with this framework. In particular, structure formation simulations suggest that the density profiles of dwarf spheroidal galaxies should exhibit cusps, in contrast to observations.
This talk applies effective field theory to the back-reaction of sources with finite size but infinite mass. The main tool for calculating back-reaction is a general relation between a source's effective action and the boundary conditions of `bulk’ fields in the near-source limit. As applied to the Maxwell (or Einstein) fields for point sources this boundary condition reproduces standard Gauss’ Law expressions, but the same arguments imply source-dependent boundary conditions for the Schrodinger (or Dirac) field of an orbiting particle.
In this talk, we explore the possibility of gravitational wave production due to ultra-relativistic bubble wall collisions. This occurs due to a process of post-inflationary vacuum decay that takes place via quantum tunnelling within a warped throat (of Randall-Sundrum type). We emphasise the differences between vacuum decay via quantum tunnelling, and a thermal first order phase transition, and how potential gravitational wave signals from both processes differ.
Two-dimensional materials such as graphene sheets can serve as excellent detectors for dark matter (DM) with couplings to electrons. The ionization energy of graphene is O(eV), making it sensitive to DM as light as an MeV, and the ejected electron may be detected without rescattering in the target, preserving directional information. I will describe the first experimental proposal for directional detection of MeV-GeV scale DM, which can be implemented in the PTOLEMY relic neutrino experiment and has comparable sensitivity to proposals using semiconductor targets.
We introduce a simple and modern discussion of rotational superradiance based on quantum field theory. We work with an effective theory valid at scales much larger than the size of the spinning object responsible for superradiance. Within this framework, the probability of absorption by an object at rest completely determines the superradiant amplification rate when that same object is spinning.
Soft theorems for the scattering of low energy photons and gravitons and cosmological consistency conditions on the squeezed-limit correlation functions are both understood to be consequences of invariance under large gauge transformations. I apply the same method used in cosmology -- based on the identification of an infinite set of "adiabatic modes" and the corresponding conserved currents -- to derive flat space soft theorems for electrodynamics and gravity.