Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Christopher D Carone


In this dissertation, we investigate various aspects of dark matter detection and model building. Motivated by the cosmic ray positron excess observed by PAMELA, we construct models of decaying dark matter to explain the excess. Specifically we present an explicit, TeV-scale model of decaying dark matter in which the approximate stability of the dark matter candidate is a consequence of a global symmetry that is broken only by instanton-induced operators generated by a non-Abelian dark gauge group. Alternatively, the decaying operator can arise as a Planck suppressed correction in a model with an Abelian discrete symmetry and vector-like states at an intermediate scale that are responsible for generating lepton Yukawa couplings. A flavor-nonconserving dark matter decay is also considered in the case of fermionic dark matter. Assuming a general Dirac structure for the four-fermion contact interactions of interest, the cosmic-ray electron and positron spectra were studied. We show that good fits to the current data can be obtained for both charged-lepton-flavor-conserving and flavor-violating decay channels. Motivated by a possible excess of gamma rays in the galactic center, we constructed a supersymmetric leptophilic higgs model to explain the excess. Finally, we consider an improvement on dark matter collider searches using the Razor analysis, which was originally utilized for supersymmetry searches by the CMS collaboration.



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