Research - James Dent
My research covers a wide array of topics in theoretical particle physics and cosmology, with a recent focus on dark matter and neutrino physics. Dark Matter: Dark matter makes up roughly one-fourth of the energy density of the universe, yet its underlying nature remains a mystery. I am interested in exploring its possible particle nature through studies of indirect and direct detection, as well as prospects for dark matter signals at collider experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider. My research has been especially aimed at determining to what extent any dark matter properties, including mass, spin, and interaction type, can be distinguished at existing and future experiments. Neutrino Physics: I have recently been investigating coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering, the observation of which was first announced in August of 2017. This coherent scattering process holds a great deal of promise for exploring physics beyond the Standard Model, and also poses an interesting challenge as an irreducible background for upcoming dark matter direct detection experiments. My collaborators and I are actively pursuing the use of this process as a tool for discovering new physics, including novel neutrino interactions and the possibility of probing new sectors of particle physics through coherent neutrino scattering. I am also a member of the Mitchell Institute Neutrino Experiment at Reactor (MINER), which plans to measure coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering using semiconductor detectors placed near the core of the nuclear reactor at the Nuclear Science Center at Texas A&M University. The MINER program is part of a substantial worldwide effort aimed at exploring new physics scenarios through coherent neutrino scattering. Cosmology: Along with my recent emphasis on dark matter and neutrino physics, I also have interests in the areas of gravitation and cosmology. This includes work on inflation, dark energy, gravitational waves, and modifications of general relativity. Additionally, there is a great deal of overlap with cosmology and my work on dark matter and neutrino physics, including physics of the early universe, and implications for the growth of large scale structure. My publication record is available at Inspire.