Dark Matter Annihilation and Non-Gaussianity: Looking for Signals of New Physics in the Presence of Astrophysical Backgrounds

Eric Baxter
(University of Chicago)


The Universe provides us with several unique laboratories for the exploration of physics beyond the Standard Model that is difficult or impossible to measure in the laboratory. In this talk, I will focus on two astrophysical probes of beyond Standard Model physics. First, by measuring gamma-ray photons produced by dark matter annihilations occurring in dark matter subhalos, we can constrain the particle properties of dark matter. Second, from redshifted 21 cm observations of the ionization field during reionization, we can place constraints on non-Gaussianity, which in turn tells us about the physics of inflation. The common challenge presented by these two measurements is separating a small signal of new physics from poorly constrained astrophysical backgrounds. Addressing this challenge will be a theme of the talk.