Particle physics is the study of the smallest and most fundamental building blocks of nature and their interactions. Huge laboratories, with a large number of scientists from around the world, are devoted to such studies. However, nature provides us with the biggest “laboratory” of all, which is the universe itself. Observations of the universe on the largest of scales can clue us into the behavior of its smallest constituents. I work on this interface of Particle Physics and Cosmology where the small meets the large.
Cosmological observations indicate that about a quarter of our universe is in the form of a kind of matter that doesn’t shine and is unknown to us. If one assumes that this matter comes in the form of particles, then models consistent with the existing theories of particle physics and cosmology can be written to describe it, their consequences investigated theoretically and in the laboratory. I’m concerned with the model investigation part. The class of models I work on assume that this “Dark Matter” is composed of new particles that interact indirectly and very weakly with the particles we know.