Dark Kinetic Heating of Neutron Stars and an Infrared Window on WIMPs, SIMPs, and Pure Higgsinos.

08:00 EDT 29th September 2017 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Dark Kinetic Heating of Neutron Stars and an Infrared Window on WIMPs, SIMPs, and Pure Higgsinos."

We identify a largely model-independent signature of dark matter (DM) interactions with nucleons and electrons. DM in the local galactic halo, gravitationally accelerated to over half the speed of light, scatters against and deposits kinetic energy into neutron stars, heating them to infrared blackbody temperatures. The resulting radiation could potentially be detected by the James Webb Space Telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope, or the European Extremely Large Telescope. This mechanism also produces optical emission from neutron stars in the galactic bulge, and x-ray emission near the galactic center because dark matter is denser in these regions. For GeV-PeV mass dark matter, dark kinetic heating would initially unmask any spin-independent or spin-dependent dark matter-nucleon cross sections exceeding 2×10^{-45}  cm^{2}, with improved sensitivity after more telescope exposure. For lighter-than-GeV dark matter, cross-section sensitivity scales inversely with dark matter mass because of Pauli blocking; for heavier-than-PeV dark matter, it scales linearly with mass as a result of needing multiple scatters for capture. Future observations of dark sector-warmed neutron stars could determine whether dark matter annihilates in or only kinetically heats neutron stars. Because inelastic interstate transitions of up to a few GeV would occur in relativistic scattering against nucleons, elusive inelastic dark matter like pure Higgsinos can also be discovered.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Physical review letters
ISSN: 1079-7114
Pages: 131801


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