Using a simplified model for weakly-interacting dark matter coupled to the Standard Model via a heavy mediator vector boson, we have developed and demonstrated a method to efficiently scan existing particle-level measurements from the LHC, implemented in Rivet, to derive expected limits on new physics. The method uses measurements which have already been shown to be in good agreement with the SM, and thus is purely aimed at limiting the possibilities for models of new physics and hopefully narrowing the focus of experimental and theoretical effort on to the best models. It is thus complementary to direct and dedicated searches. The expected exclusion limits obtained are competitive with limits from searches to date which have reported null results. One notable feature is the simultaneous coverage of a wide variety of final states. This leads to enhanced stability of the sensitivity as a function of model parameters, and also can uncover sensitivity in channels which might not otherwise be considered. For example, in our case unexpected sensitivity is seen in \(V\)+jets measurements, as well as the more commonly used dijet and channels. Future plans include better treatment of correlated uncertainties and the incorporation of SM predictions and uncertainties directly into Contur, rather than relying on previous comparisons. The method is highly scaleable to new measurements as they are produced, and to new simplified models as they are developed.


This work started at the ‘Interdisciplinary Workshop on ‘Models, simulations and data at LHC’ in Edinburgh, and continued in the 2015 Les Houches meeting on TeV-scale physics and two MCnet schools in Göttingen. The authors thank the organisers, especially Michela Massimi, Fawzi Boudjema and Steffen Schumann. They also thank Josh McFayden for useful discussions, and STFC for financial support. This work was supported in part by the European Union as part of the FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network MCnetITN (PITN-GA-2012-315877). MK is supported by the German Research Foundation DFG through the research unit 2239 “New physics at the LHC”.