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Title: Wanted! Nuclear Data for Dark Matter Astrophysics

Astronomical observations from small galaxies to the largest scales in the universe can be consistently explained by the simple idea of dark matter. The nature of dark matter is however still unknown. Empirically it cannot be any of the known particles, and many theories postulate it as a new elementary particle. Searches for dark matter particles are under way: production at high-energy accelerators, direct detection through dark matter-nucleus scattering, indirect detection through cosmic rays, gamma rays, or effects on stars. Particle dark matter searches rely on observing an excess of events above background, and a lot of controversies have arisen over the origin of observed excesses. With the new high-quality cosmic ray measurements from the AMS-02 experiment, the major uncertainty in modeling cosmic ray fluxes is in the nuclear physics cross sections for spallation and fragmentation of cosmic rays off interstellar hydrogen and helium. The understanding of direct detection backgrounds is limited by poor knowledge of cosmic ray activation in detector materials, with order of magnitude differences between simulation codes. A scarcity of data on nucleon spin densities blurs the connection between dark matter theory and experiments. What is needed, ideally, are more and better measurements of spallation cross sectionsmore » relevant to cosmic rays and cosmogenic activation, and data on the nucleon spin densities in nuclei.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22436716
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nuclear Data Sheets; Journal Volume: 120; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; ACCELERATORS; ASTROPHYSICS; COSMIC RADIATION; COSMIC RAY FLUX; ELEMENTARY PARTICLES; GALAXIES; GAMMA RADIATION; HELIUM; HYDROGEN; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; SIMULATION; SPALLATION; UNIVERSE