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Title: Death and serious injury from dark matter

Abstract

Macroscopic dark matter (macros) refers to a class of dark matter candidates that scatter elastically off of ordinary matter with a large geometric cross-section. A wide range of macro masses MX and cross-sections remain unprobed. We show that over a wide region within the unexplored parameter space, collisions of a macro with a human body would result in serious injury or death. We use the absence of such unexplained impacts with a well-monitored subset of the human population to exclude a region bounded by σX > 10–8 – 10–7 cm2 and MX < 50 kg. Our results open a new window on dark matter: the human body as a dark matter detector.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP)
OSTI Identifier:
1601033
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1670441
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0009946; SC0019207
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Physics Letters B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Physics Letters B Journal Volume: 803 Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0370-2693
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
Netherlands
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Sidhu, Jagjit Singh, Scherrer, Robert, and Starkman, Glenn. Death and serious injury from dark matter. Netherlands: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2020.135300.
Sidhu, Jagjit Singh, Scherrer, Robert, & Starkman, Glenn. Death and serious injury from dark matter. Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physletb.2020.135300
Sidhu, Jagjit Singh, Scherrer, Robert, and Starkman, Glenn. Wed . "Death and serious injury from dark matter". Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physletb.2020.135300.
@article{osti_1601033,
title = {Death and serious injury from dark matter},
author = {Sidhu, Jagjit Singh and Scherrer, Robert and Starkman, Glenn},
abstractNote = {Macroscopic dark matter (macros) refers to a class of dark matter candidates that scatter elastically off of ordinary matter with a large geometric cross-section. A wide range of macro masses MX and cross-sections remain unprobed. We show that over a wide region within the unexplored parameter space, collisions of a macro with a human body would result in serious injury or death. We use the absence of such unexplained impacts with a well-monitored subset of the human population to exclude a region bounded by σX > 10–8 – 10–7 cm2 and MX < 50 kg. Our results open a new window on dark matter: the human body as a dark matter detector.},
doi = {10.1016/j.physletb.2020.135300},
journal = {Physics Letters B},
number = C,
volume = 803,
place = {Netherlands},
year = {2020},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physletb.2020.135300

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1 work
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Constraints for macros over a wide range of masses and cross-sections. Constraints in yellow are derived from a lack of tracks in an ancient slab of mica, in grey from the Planck Cosmic Microwave Background data considering elastic macro-photon interactions, in red from microlensing experiments and in bluemore » from thermonuclear runaway in white dwarfs. We have also presented projected regions of parameter space accessible by future searches. The region in green with hatching represents the union of the region accessible using the Pierre Auger Observatory, the JEM-EUSO planned experiment, and a search of ≈ 100 slabs of commercial granite. The granite-slab search could be scaled up to access much larger macro masses (and smaller fluxes), e.g. through a citizen science program, which is the goal of two of the authors (JSS and GDS) once a preliminary search has been completed.« less

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