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Title: Severely Constraining Dark-Matter Interpretations of the 21-cm Anomaly

Abstract

Here, the EDGES Collaboration has recently reported the detection of a stronger-than-expected absorption feature in the global 21-cm spectrum, centered at a frequency corresponding to a redshift of z≃17. This observation has been interpreted as evidence that the gas was cooled during this era as a result of scattering with dark matter. In this Letter, we explore this possibility, applying constraints from the cosmic microwave background, light element abundances, Supernova 1987A, and a variety of laboratory experiments. After taking these constraints into account, we find that the vast majority of the parameter space capable of generating the observed 21-cm signal is ruled out. The only viable models are those in which a small fraction, ~0.3%–2%, of the dark matter consists of particles with a mass of ~10–80 MeV and which couple to the photon through a small electric charge, roughly 10–6–10–4 as large as the electron charge. Furthermore, in order to avoid being overproduced in the early Universe, such models must be supplemented with an additional depletion mechanism, such as annihilations through a Lμ–Lτ gauge boson or annihilations to a pair of rapidly decaying hidden sector scalars.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP)
OSTI Identifier:
1458596
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1437302
Report Number(s):
arXiv:1803.02804; FERMILAB-PUB-18-066-A
Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007; PRLTAO; 011102
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515; AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Physical Review Letters Journal Volume: 121 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Berlin, Asher, Hooper, Dan, Krnjaic, Gordan, and McDermott, Samuel D. Severely Constraining Dark-Matter Interpretations of the 21-cm Anomaly. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.011102.
Berlin, Asher, Hooper, Dan, Krnjaic, Gordan, & McDermott, Samuel D. Severely Constraining Dark-Matter Interpretations of the 21-cm Anomaly. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.011102.
Berlin, Asher, Hooper, Dan, Krnjaic, Gordan, and McDermott, Samuel D. Mon . "Severely Constraining Dark-Matter Interpretations of the 21-cm Anomaly". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.011102.
@article{osti_1458596,
title = {Severely Constraining Dark-Matter Interpretations of the 21-cm Anomaly},
author = {Berlin, Asher and Hooper, Dan and Krnjaic, Gordan and McDermott, Samuel D.},
abstractNote = {Here, the EDGES Collaboration has recently reported the detection of a stronger-than-expected absorption feature in the global 21-cm spectrum, centered at a frequency corresponding to a redshift of z≃17. This observation has been interpreted as evidence that the gas was cooled during this era as a result of scattering with dark matter. In this Letter, we explore this possibility, applying constraints from the cosmic microwave background, light element abundances, Supernova 1987A, and a variety of laboratory experiments. After taking these constraints into account, we find that the vast majority of the parameter space capable of generating the observed 21-cm signal is ruled out. The only viable models are those in which a small fraction, ~0.3%–2%, of the dark matter consists of particles with a mass of ~10–80 MeV and which couple to the photon through a small electric charge, roughly 10–6–10–4 as large as the electron charge. Furthermore, in order to avoid being overproduced in the early Universe, such models must be supplemented with an additional depletion mechanism, such as annihilations through a Lμ–Lτ gauge boson or annihilations to a pair of rapidly decaying hidden sector scalars.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.011102},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 1,
volume = 121,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.011102

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 56 works
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Figures / Tables:

FIG. 1 FIG. 1: Constraints on Dirac fermion millicharged dark matter from Supernova 1987A (gray), the SLAC millicharge experiment (blue), the light element abundances produced during big bang nucleosynthesis (red, labeled ΔNeff ), and on the impact on the cosmic microwave background of dark matter scattering with baryons (pink, labeled CMB, KD)more » and dark matter annihilations (purple, labeled CMB ann.). In each panel, the solid black region can explain the amplitude of the observed 21-cm absorption feature as reported by the EDGES Collaboration. The dashed black line denotes where the thermal relic abundance corresponds to the indicated value of fDM, assuming only millicharge interactions.« less

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