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New research group on dark matter

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Suchita Kulkarni's work bridges the experimental and theoretical world.

Observational evidence in the form of e.g. dark matter and neutrino masses suggests that the Standard Model as we know it is incomplete. Motivated by this fact, my research concentrates on exploration of beyond the Standard Model theories and theoretical analysis of their signatures at the experiments. My work therefore bridges the experimental and theoretical world. 

In particular, I concentrate on the problem of dark matter, which suggests that about 25% of the Universe as we know it is contained within a gravitational substance for which the Standard Model has no explanation. I consider different theory scenarios of dark matter and explore their signatures at the colliders as well as astroparticle experiments. 

Among the dark matter theory scenarios, I have considered the theory of supersymmetry, and generic WIMP scenarios. I have demonstrated the complementarity between LHC and astroparticle searches and have also suggested new searches to progress within these theories. I have also worked extensively with LHC experimentalists and was a member of the CMS collaboration. In the future, I will extend my research to strongly interacting dark matter scenarios. Within these scenarios the dark matter is a composite particle arising due to confinement in a non-abelian sector. I will concentrate on the LHC phenomenology of such scenarios. 

The second area of my interest is the exploration of heavy neutrinos. Such heavy neutrinos are the right handed cousins of the Standard Model neutrinos and could explain neutrino masses. Discovery of these particles will change the understanding of neutrino sector fundamentally. I concentrate on the collider phenomenology of these heavy neutrinos and suggest how to search for them at the current and future experiments.

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