Project A3
LHC and gravity

Astrophysical observations and explanatory gaps in the Standard Model of particle physics imply the existence of Dark Matter and/or a modification of our theory of space and time. A decision between the Dark Matter and Modified Gravity approaches is hampered by problems of underdetermination at different levels and of different kinds. In order to specify these problems, we shall analyse in detail the landscape of Dark Matter and Modified Gravity models, and the interplay between research in particle physics, astrophysics, and gravity. The plethora of Dark Matter and Modified Gravity approaches, and the corresponding underdetermination, even in the light of the vast amount of relevant collider based and astrophysical observations, clearly illustrates the complexity of this scientific problem. On the other hand, the overlap of the collider and astrophysical domains may allow for reducing the underdetermination, thus leading to a simplification of the model landscape. Our focus is on Dark Matter searches at the Large Hadron Collider and the connection between LHC results and theories of gravity. We will address the question of different kinds of underdetermination, both in choosing between the two research programs of Dark Matter and Modified Gravity, and also in choosing between different models within each program. In particular, we shall provide an assessment of the explanatory power and the explanatory gaps of the Dark Matter and Modified Gravity hypotheses, and study the coarse-graining of the model landscape introduced by so-called simplified models, which may allow us to distinguish different kinds of aiming for simplicity in high-energy physics.


A 3-day conference on Dark Matter & Modified Gravity will take place from 6 to 8 February 2019 at RWTH Aachen. More information can be found here.

Deutsche Version


Principal Investigators:
Dennis Lehmkuhl
Michael Krämer

Principal Collaborator:
Erhard Scholz

Postdoctoral Researcher:
Niels Martens