The unbearable lightness of being: CDMS versus XENON

Preprint number: CP3-Origins-2013-12 DNRF90 and DIAS-2013-12
Authors: Mads Frandsen (CP3-Origins & DIAS), Felix Kahlhoefer (Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics), Christopher McCabe (Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, Durham University), Subir Sarkar (Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics), and Kai Schmidt-Hoberg (Theory Division, CERN)
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The CDMS-II collaboration has reported 3 events in a Si detector, which are consistent with being nuclear recoils due to scattering of Galactic dark matter particles with a mass of about 8.6 GeV and a cross-section on neutrons of about 2 x 10-41 cm2. While a previous result from the XENON10 experiment has supposedly ruled out such particles as dark matter, we find by reanalysing the XENON10 data that this is not the case. Some tension remains however with the upper limit placed by the XENON100 experiment, independently of astrophysical uncertainties concerning the Galactic dark matter distribution. We explore possible ways of ameliorating this tension by altering the properties of dark matter interactions. Nevertheless, even with standard couplings, light dark matter is consistent with both CDMS and XENON10/100.