Cosmological aspects of universal extra dimensions
It is an intriguing possibility that our world may consist of more than three spatial dimensions, compactified on such a small scale that they so far have escaped detection. In this thesis, a particular realization of this idea -- the scenario of so-called 'universal extra dimensions' (UED) -- is studied in some detail, with a focus on cosmological consequences and appplications.The first part investigates whether the size of homogeneous extra dimensions can be stabilized on cosmological time scales. This is necessary in order not to violate the stringent observational bounds on a possible variation of the fundamental constants of nature.An important aspect of the UED model is that it can provide a natural explanation for the mysterious dark matter, which contributes nearly thirty times as much as luminous matter like stars, galaxies etc. to the total energy content of the universe. In the second part of this thesis, the observational prospects for such a dark matter candidate are examined. In particular, it is shown how dark matter annihilations taking place in the Milky Way could give rise to exotic contributions to the cosmic ray spectrum in photons and antiprotons, leading to distinct experimental signatures to look for.This includes a comparison with similar effects from other dark matter candidates, most notably the neutralino, which appears in supersymmetric extensions of the standard model of particle physics.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Physics; Astronomy and astrophysics; Cosmology; Cosmology; dark matter; extra dimensions
Date of Publication:01/01/2005