Vacuum Stability, Standard Model Extensions, and the 125 GeV Higgs

Though the discovery of a 125 GeV candidate Higgs boson resolves the origin of electroweak symmetry breaking, questions remain regarding physics beyond the Standard Model, the energy scale associated with new physics, and the nature of dark matter. I will discuss several extensions of the Standard Model (scalar singlets, a type-2 seesaw mechanism scalar triplet, electroweak multiplets, and an extra U(1) gauge symmetry) that address these questions. In the Standard Model and these extensions, the question arises whether or not the very minimum of the scalar potential responsible for electroweak symmetry breaking is stable up to the fundamental Planck energy scale. My research into the vacuum stability of these models provides insight into the new physics, the energy scale, and the composition of dark matter.