Supersymmetric dark matter candidates

John Ellis, Keith A. Olive

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

43 Scopus citations


Supersymmetry is one of the best-motivated proposals for physics beyond the Standard Model. There are many idealistic motivations for believing in supersymmetry, such as its intrinsic elegance, its ability to link matter particles and force carriers, its ability to link gravity to the other fundamental interactions, and its essential role in string theory. However, none of these aesthetic motivations gives any hint as to the energy scale at which supersymmetry might appear. The following are the principal utilitarian reasons to think that supersymmetry might appear at some energy accessible to forthcoming experiments. The first and primary of these was the observation that supersymmetry could help stabilize the mass scale of electroweak symmetry breaking, by cancelling the quadratic divergences in the radiative corrections to the mass-squared of the Higgs boson [1374; 1829; 1940], and by extension to the masses of other Standard Model particles. This motivation suggests that sparticles weigh less than about 1 TeV, but the exact mass scale depends on the amount of fine-tuning that one is prepared to tolerate. Historically, the second motivation for low-scale supersymmetry, and the one that interests us most here, was the observation that the lightest supersymmetric particle (LSP) in models with conserved R-parity, being heavy and naturally neutral and stable, would be an excellent candidate for dark matter [760; 973]. This motivation requires that the lightest supersymmetric particle should weigh less than about 1 TeV, if it had once been in thermal equilibrium in the early Universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationParticle Dark Matter
Subtitle of host publicationObservations, Models and Searches
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780511770739
ISBN (Print)9780521763684
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2010.


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