Preprint number: CP3-Origins-2013-47 DNRF90 and DIAS-2013-47
Isospin-violating dark matter (IVDM) has been proposed as a viable scenario to reconcile conflicting positive and null results from direct detection dark matter experiments. We show that the lowest-order dark matter-nucleus scattering rate can receive large and nucleus-dependent corrections at next-to-leading order (NLO) in the chiral expansion. The size of these corrections depends on the specific couplings of dark matter to quark flavors and gluons. In general the full NLO dark-matter-nucleus cross-section is not adequately described by just the zero-energy proton and neutron couplings. These statements are concretely illustrated in a scenario where the dark matter couples to quarks through scalar operators. We find the canonical IVDM scenario can reconcile the null XENON and LUX results and the recent CDMS-Si findings provided its couplings to second and third generation quarks either lie on a special line or are suppressed. Equally good fits with new values of the neutron-to-proton coupling ratio are found in the presence of nonzero heavy quark couplings. CDMS-Si remains in tension with LUX and XENON10/100 but is not excluded.