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Title: Dark matter in the Sun: scattering off electrons vs nucleons

Abstract

The annihilation of dark matter (DM) particles accumulated in the Sun could produce a flux of neutrinos, which is potentially detectable with neutrino detectors/telescopes and the DM elastic scattering cross section can be constrained. Although the process of DM capture in astrophysical objects like the Sun is commonly assumed to be due to interactions only with nucleons, there are scenarios in which tree-level DM couplings to quarks are absent, and even if loop-induced interactions with nucleons are allowed, scatterings off electrons could be the dominant capture mechanism. We consider this possibility and study in detail all the ingredients necessary to compute the neutrino production rates from DM annihilations in the Sun (capture, annihilation and evaporation rates) for velocity-independent and isotropic, velocity-dependent and isotropic and momentum-dependent scattering cross sections for DM interactions with electrons and compare them with the results obtained for the case of interactions with nucleons. Moreover, we improve the usual calculations in a number of ways and provide analytical expressions in three appendices. Interestingly, we find that the evaporation mass in the case of interactions with electrons could be below the GeV range, depending on the high-velocity tail of the DM distribution in the Sun, which would openmore » a new mass window for searching for this type of scenarios.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Bethe Center for Theoretical Physics and Physikalisches Institut, Universität Bonn, Nußallee 12, D-53115 Bonn (Germany)
  2. Instituto de Física Corpuscular (IFIC), CSIC-Universitat de València, Apartado de Correos 22085, E-46071 València (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22676232
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; Journal Volume: 2017; Journal Issue: 05; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ANNIHILATION; ASTROPHYSICS; COUPLINGS; CROSS SECTIONS; DISTRIBUTION; ELASTIC SCATTERING; ELECTRONS; GEV RANGE; MASS; NEUTRINO DETECTORS; NEUTRINOS; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; NUCLEONS; PARTICLE PRODUCTION; QUARKS; SUN; TELESCOPES; VELOCITY

Citation Formats

Garani, Raghuveer, and Palomares-Ruiz, Sergio, E-mail: garani@th.physik.uni-bonn.de, E-mail: sergiopr@ific.uv.es. Dark matter in the Sun: scattering off electrons vs nucleons. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2017/05/007.
Garani, Raghuveer, & Palomares-Ruiz, Sergio, E-mail: garani@th.physik.uni-bonn.de, E-mail: sergiopr@ific.uv.es. Dark matter in the Sun: scattering off electrons vs nucleons. United States. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2017/05/007.
Garani, Raghuveer, and Palomares-Ruiz, Sergio, E-mail: garani@th.physik.uni-bonn.de, E-mail: sergiopr@ific.uv.es. Mon . "Dark matter in the Sun: scattering off electrons vs nucleons". United States. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2017/05/007.
@article{osti_22676232,
title = {Dark matter in the Sun: scattering off electrons vs nucleons},
author = {Garani, Raghuveer and Palomares-Ruiz, Sergio, E-mail: garani@th.physik.uni-bonn.de, E-mail: sergiopr@ific.uv.es},
abstractNote = {The annihilation of dark matter (DM) particles accumulated in the Sun could produce a flux of neutrinos, which is potentially detectable with neutrino detectors/telescopes and the DM elastic scattering cross section can be constrained. Although the process of DM capture in astrophysical objects like the Sun is commonly assumed to be due to interactions only with nucleons, there are scenarios in which tree-level DM couplings to quarks are absent, and even if loop-induced interactions with nucleons are allowed, scatterings off electrons could be the dominant capture mechanism. We consider this possibility and study in detail all the ingredients necessary to compute the neutrino production rates from DM annihilations in the Sun (capture, annihilation and evaporation rates) for velocity-independent and isotropic, velocity-dependent and isotropic and momentum-dependent scattering cross sections for DM interactions with electrons and compare them with the results obtained for the case of interactions with nucleons. Moreover, we improve the usual calculations in a number of ways and provide analytical expressions in three appendices. Interestingly, we find that the evaporation mass in the case of interactions with electrons could be below the GeV range, depending on the high-velocity tail of the DM distribution in the Sun, which would open a new mass window for searching for this type of scenarios.},
doi = {10.1088/1475-7516/2017/05/007},
journal = {Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics},
number = 05,
volume = 2017,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • We study in detail sub-GeV dark matter scattering off electrons in xenon, including the expected electron recoil spectra and annual modulation spectra. We derive improved constraints using low-energy XENON10 and XENON100 ionization-only data. For XENON10, in addition to including electron-recoil data corresponding to about 1–3 electrons, we include for the first time events corresponding to about 4–7 electrons. Assuming the scattering is momentum independent (F DM = 1 ), this strengthens a previous cross-section bound by almost an order of magnitude for dark matter masses above 50 MeV. The available XENON100 data corresponds to events with about 4–50 electrons, andmore » leads to a constraint that is comparable to the XENON10 bound above 50 MeV for F DM = 1 . We demonstrate that a search for an annual modulation signal in upcoming xenon experiments (XENON1T, XENONnT, LZ) could substantially improve the above bounds even in the presence of large backgrounds. We also emphasize that in simple benchmark models of sub-GeV dark matter, the dark matter-electron scattering rate can be as high as one event every ten (two) seconds in the XENON1T (XENONnT or LZ) experiments, without being in conflict with any other known experimental bounds. While there are several sources of backgrounds that can produce single- or few-electron events, a large event rate can be consistent with a dark matter signal and should not be simply written off as purely a detector curiosity. This fact motivates a detailed analysis of the ionization-data (“S2”) data, taking into account the expected annual modulation spectrum of the signal rate, as well as the DM-induced electron-recoil spectra, which are another powerful discriminant between signal and background.« less
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  • We study in detail sub-GeV dark matter scattering off electrons in xenon, including the expected electron recoil spectra and annual modulation spectra. We derive improved constraints using low-energy XENON10 and XENON100 ionization-only data. For XENON10, in addition to including electron-recoil data corresponding to about 1–3 electrons, we include for the first time events corresponding to about 4–7 electrons. Assuming the scattering is momentum independent (F DM = 1 ), this strengthens a previous cross-section bound by almost an order of magnitude for dark matter masses above 50 MeV. The available XENON100 data corresponds to events with about 4–50 electrons, andmore » leads to a constraint that is comparable to the XENON10 bound above 50 MeV for F DM = 1 . We demonstrate that a search for an annual modulation signal in upcoming xenon experiments (XENON1T, XENONnT, LZ) could substantially improve the above bounds even in the presence of large backgrounds. We also emphasize that in simple benchmark models of sub-GeV dark matter, the dark matter-electron scattering rate can be as high as one event every ten (two) seconds in the XENON1T (XENONnT or LZ) experiments, without being in conflict with any other known experimental bounds. While there are several sources of backgrounds that can produce single- or few-electron events, a large event rate can be consistent with a dark matter signal and should not be simply written off as purely a detector curiosity. This fact motivates a detailed analysis of the ionization-data (“S2”) data, taking into account the expected annual modulation spectrum of the signal rate, as well as the DM-induced electron-recoil spectra, which are another powerful discriminant between signal and background.« less
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