Excluding Light Asymmetric Bosonic Dark Matter

September 5, 2011

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The letter Excluding Light Asymmetric Bosonic Dark Matter
by Chris Kouvaris (CP3-Origins) and Peter Tinyakov (The Free University of Brussels) was recently published in the prestigious Physical Review Letters journal of the American Physical Society.

Nowadays, the existence of dark matter has been established with different independent methods. The most prominent candidates are the Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs). We know very few things about WIMPs since there is yet no consensus about their discovery in underground detectors. This paper imposed severe constraints on the mass and the strength of interaction of WIMPs with themselves and with nucleons, in a particular type of dark matter called “Asymmetric Dark Matter”, based on observations of neutron stars. We found that under specific conditions dark matter particles can be trapped within a neutron star, and gravitationally collapse forming a mini black hole inside the host star. This black hole can potentially destroy the star. Based on the existence of old neutron stars not far from the Earth, we were able to impose constraints on the cross section and the mass of the WIMPs. In particular, we were able to exclude the possibility of bosonic asymmetric dark matter WIMPs with masses compatible to the ones indicated by the underground experiments CoGeNT and DAMA, if WIMPs are fundamental objects or composite with a compositeness scale larger than roughly 1012 GeV. We also imposed constraints on the self-interaction cross section among WIMPs, complementary to the ones imposed by the bullet cluster.

A PDF version of the article can be found at arXiv.org.