Searching for dark matter at the LHC with a mono-Z

Nicole F. Bell, Ahmad J. Galea, James B. Dent, Thomas D. Jacques, Lawrence Krauss, Thomas J. Weiler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


We investigate a mono-Z process as a potential dark matter search strategy at the LHC. In this channel a single Z boson recoils against missing transverse momentum, attributed to dark matter particles, χ, which escape the detector. This search strategy is related and complementary to monojet and monophoton searches. For illustrative purposes we consider the process qq̄→χ χZ in a toy dark matter model, where the Z boson is emitted from either the initial state quarks or from the internal propagator. Among the signatures of this process will be a pair of muons with high pT that reconstruct to the invariant mass the Z, and large amounts of missing transverse energy. Being a purely electroweak signal, QCD and other Standard Model backgrounds are relatively easily removed with modest selection cuts. We compare the signal to Standard Model backgrounds and demonstrate that even for conservative cuts, there exist regions of parameter space where the signal may be clearly visible above background in future LHC data, allowing either new discovery potential or the possibility of supplementing information about the dark sector beyond that available from other observable channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number096011
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 28 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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