Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Dark Matter and the Effective Theory of Direct Detection

Presented by Wick Haxton, UCB

A great deal of effort is being expended to develop detectors capable of identifying heavy
dark matter particles through the nuclear recoils they induce when scattering in ordinary matter.
An interesting question is what can and cannot be learned about the underlying particle
physics of dark matter from such experiments. I describe an approach in which the tools
of effective theory are used to determine both nucleon-level and nuclear-level operators for
this process. The unusual kinematics -- energy transfers are minimal while momentum
transfers are large, on the scale of the inverse nuclear size -- makes the nuclear response
more interesting than one might naively assume.

3:30 pm, Friday, November 17, 2017
Room 125, Dane Smith Hall
Southwest corner of Las Lomas and Yale, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Refreshments will be available before the colloquium, at 3:15 pm, in the lobby of Dane Smith Hall.

Disability NoticeIndividuals with disabilities who need an auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in P&A events should contact Sandra Ortiz (phone: 505-277-5900, email: well in advance to ensure your needs are accomodated. Event handouts can be provided in alternative accessible formats upon request. Please contact Mrs. Ortiz if you need written information in an alternative format.

A schedule of talks within the Department of Physics and Astronomy is available on the P&A web site at