5 December 2019 to 30 June 2020
Europe/Zurich timezone
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Following the call for Expressions of Interest by APPEC-ECFA-NuPECC at JENAS 2019 (attached below) for possible projects with interest spanning the high energy physics, astroparticle physics and nuclear physics community, we have drafted an open EoI on dark matter. The text is just below. If you'd like to endorse this initiative and be involved in further activities, please fill the form on the side of this page.

Context: 

Understanding dark matter (DM), how it was produced in the early universe, what its nature is and where it is located in the cosmos is one of the fundamental physics problems of our century. 

The broad community working on dark matter is active and diversified. It includes particle physics theorists and astrophysicists with a wide range of interests, as well as particle physics experimentalists focusing on collider, fixed-target, beam-dump, direct and indirect DM detection experiments, as well as dedicated axion/ALP experiments. 

A broad approach to dark matter research is necessary given the nature of the challenge: the only evidences  that we have about the existence of dark matter are from astrophysics, and there is no clear indication of its nature. There are many ad-hoc occasions for the above  communities to discuss, collaborate and exchange opinions (e.g. conferences and workshops). There are many organized efforts gathering one or more communities (1) that are working on the interpretation of searches using common theory frameworks, motivating the development of new theoretical ideas and developing common languages for comparison of different experiments and diverse datasets.

However, there is to date no permanent platform where the different communities can identify cross-fertilization opportunities for mutual benefits, with an even broader perspective of the complementary set of experimental searches, astrophysical/cosmological observations and theoretical benchmarks. 

Our main goal is to establish such a broad platform, exploiting synergies and complementarities across different communities. 

Joint work on scientific topics will also help the community to develop and communicate a coherent story that highlights the diversity of the global dark matter program and informs different stakeholders (e.g. including the general public) about the breadth of dark matter research. 

With this Expression of Interest: 

  • We aim to create opportunities where the main actors in the fields can exchange results and discuss progress (both in theory and in experiments/observations), develop a common language, and develop synergies and complementarities across diverse communities. 

  • We will rely on the work by the various communities to document and connect existing sets of benchmark models (2) and their related parameter space to enable sharing and comparing results from different lines of dark matter research. 

  • We will work in synergy with the newly established European Center for Astroparticle Theory (EuCAPT), and with the cross-community ESCAPE project that has among its objectives the sharing of technical tools.

  • We will work as a community towards dissemination and communication of results to different stakeholders, including the general public.  

  • We will reach out to neighboring communities where new instruments and clues can be used to seek insight on the nature of dark matter (e.g. instruments for gravitational waves, multi-messenger astronomy, nuclear physics) 

Actions: 

  • Begin the work with a kick-off meeting within the EuCAPT framework and at CERN/on Vidyo and Zoom, where representatives of different communities present the state of the art and the ongoing discussions on benchmark models. 

    • In this kick-off meeting, there will be the chance for the communities to present a wish-list for further cross-talk with other communities, which will channel people to work together on specific topics of interest.

  • Plan for follow-ups in focused and general “town hall” meetings at upcoming workshop and conferences, e.g. IDM 2020 (Vienna), or in dedicated ECFA, ApPEC, NuPPEC town meetings and JENAS future meetings (3). 

  • Support the creation of a collection of versioned repositories for astrophysics and particle physics experimental/observational collaborations to provide results, and for the theorists to provide tools / predictions / interpretations.

  • Keep a collaborative repository with an up-to-date list of experiments, efforts, conferences and workshops (e.g. FIPs 2020) that can be useful for the whole community working on dark matter, to encourage cross-talk among participants from different backgrounds that may meet in the same place

  • Share material and plan contributions to the organization of local and remote outreach events (e.g. Dark Matter Day)


(1)  E.g. Dark Matter Working Group, Physics Beyond Colliders, LHC Long Lived Particle Community, Phystat DM just to name a few...

(2) For example, those built by existing working groups with involvement from parts of the overall DM community (e.g. in the whitepapers of the Physics Beyond Colliders, Dark Matter Working Group) and their ongoing improvements (e.g. discussed  for WIMP models and feebly-interacting DM models at the past and upcoming DMWG meetings, Dark Matter @ LHC conferences, FIPs 2020 and LLP community workshops).

(3)  Since this is a “virtual” platform and we support more sustainable meetings, we will ensure that Zoom/Vidyo connectivity is available for most meetings, and that the meeting moderation allows for effective participation of remote participants as well.


 

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