New Approaches to Dark Matter
Abstract: The need for additional non-baryonic gravitating matter - Dark Matter- to explain astrophysical observations has become widely accepted in the last few decades. In particular, the observation of Dark Matter in cosmology and astrophysics has provided a striking indication that the Standard Model of Particle Physics cannot fully describe the physical Universe. This talk will explore the range of possibilities for understanding the nature and origin of Dark Matter, with a focus on new approaches. I will start by outlining the evidence for Dark Matter and the ideas underlying the traditional picture of "WIMP" Dark Matter. I will then discuss the growing tension between WIMP models and experimental searches, and how this strongly motivates the exploration of new theoretical frameworks to explain the observed abundance of Dark Matter. Subsequently, I will highlight a number of distinct alternatives to WIMPs which avoid or relax certain experimental constraints and discuss how these different frameworks impact our expectations about astrophysics, cosmology, and experimental searches.