Integrating out astrophysical uncertainties

Patrick J. Fox, Jia Liu, Neal Weiner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Underground searches for dark matter involve a complicated interplay of particle physics, nuclear physics, atomic physics, and astrophysics. We attempt to remove the uncertainties associated with astrophysics by developing the means to map the observed signal in one experiment directly into a predicted rate at another. We argue that it is possible to make experimental comparisons that are completely free of astrophysical uncertainties by focusing on integral quantities, such as g(vmin)=vmindvf(v)/v and v threshdvvg(v). Direct comparisons are possible when the v min space probed by different experiments overlap. As examples, we consider the possible dark matter signals at CoGeNT, DAMA, and CRESST-Oxygen. We find that the expected rate from CoGeNT in the XENON10 experiment is higher than observed, unless scintillation light output is low. Moreover, we determine that S2-only analyses are constraining, unless the charge yields Q y<2.4electrons/keV. For DAMA to be consistent with XENON10, we find for qNa=0.3 that the modulation rate must be extremely high (70% for mχ=7GeV), while for higher quenching factors, it makes an explicit prediction (0.8-0.9cpd/kg) for the modulation to be observed at CoGeNT. Finally, we find CDMS-Si, even with a 10 keV threshold, as well as XENON10, even with low scintillation, would have seen significant rates if the excess events at CRESST arise from elastic WIMP scattering, making it very unlikely to be the explanation of this anomaly.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number103514
    JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - May 10 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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