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Published July 28, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Light gravitinos at colliders and implications for cosmology


Light gravitinos, with mass in the eV to MeV range, are well motivated in particle physics, but their status as dark-matter candidates is muddled by early-Universe uncertainties. We investigate how upcoming data from colliders may clarify this picture. Light gravitinos are produced primarily in the decays of the next-to-lightest supersymmetric particle, resulting in spectacular signals, including di-photons, delayed and nonpointing photons, kinked charged tracks, and heavy metastable charged particles. We find that the Tevatron with 20  fb^(-1) and the 7 TeV LHC with 1  fb^(-1) may both see evidence for hundreds of light-gravitino events. Remarkably, this collider data is also well suited to distinguish between currently viable light-gravitino scenarios, with striking implications for structure formation, inflation, and other early-Universe cosmology.

Additional Information

© 2010 The American Physical Society. Received 23 April 2010; published 28 July 2010. S. K. L. thanks Maria Spiropulu and Sezen Sekmen for their assistance in setting up the collider simulations. S. K. L. and M. K. also thank Mark Wise for discussion of issues involving the gravitino production rate at low reheating temperatures. J. L. F. is grateful to William Molzon and Daniel Whiteson for helpful conversations. This work was supported at Caltech by the DOE DE-FG03-92-ER40701 and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The work of J. L. F. was supported in part by NSF Grant No. PHY-0653656.

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