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New strong dynamics beyond the standard model, Fall 2017

Major experiments are underway and planned around the world to search for new physics beyond the standard model. They are accompanied by comparable theoretical efforts to gain insight into issues including the stabilization of the electroweak scale and the nature of dark matter. The possibility that such new physics may be strongly coupled presents both challenges for theoretical analyses as well as opportunities to advance our understanding of nature.

This course will introduce some of the most prominent proposed extensions of the standard model in which new strong dynamics play a central role. After presenting the basic conceptual frameworks for both composite Higgs models and composite dark matter models, we will review current phenomenological constraints and the prospects for future discoveries. We will also consider the role of lattice gauge theory as a means to obtain non-perturbative predictions for these strongly interacting systems.

Learning outcome

Upon completing this course, students will be able to:

Tentative schedule

2 November: Course overview; Composite Higgs overview

9 November: Composite Higgs model building

16 November: Composite Higgs phenomenology

21 November: Composite Higgs constraints

28 November: Lattice gauge theory overview and application to composite Higgs models

5 December: Composite dark matter overview and model building

12 December: Composite dark matter phenomenology

19 December: Composite dark matter constraints; Lattice gauge theory applications


The expected background is exposure to quantum field theory and the standard model of particle physics, in particular gauge theories and spontaneous symmetry breaking, at the level of standard textbooks such as those by Peskin and Schroeder, Srednicki, or Schwartz. We will briefly review the most relevant aspects of this background, with some flexibility to calibrate the level of the review. Useful references on composite Higgs and composite dark matter physics include:

Last modified 5 September 2017

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