PAMELA, DAMA, INTEGRAL and signatures of metastable excited WIMPs

Douglas P. Finkbeiner, Tracy R. Slatyer, Neal Weiner, Itay Yavin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Models of dark matter with ∼ GeV scale force mediators provide attractive explanations of many high energy anomalies, including PAMELA, ATIC, and the WMAP haze. At the same time, by exploiting the ∼ MeV scale excited states that are automatically present in such theories, these models naturally explain the DAMA/LIBRA and INTEGRAL signals through the inelastic dark matter (iDM) and exciting dark matter (XDM) scenarios, respectively. Interestingly, with only weak kinetic mixing to hypercharge to mediate decays, the lifetime of excited states with δ < 2m electron is longer than the age of the universe. The fractional relic abundance of these excited states depends on the temperature of kinetic decoupling, but can be appreciable. There could easily be other mechanisms for rapid decay, but the consequences of such long-lived states are intriguing. We find that CDMS constrains the fractional relic population of ∼ 100 keV states to be ≲ 10 -2, for a 1 TeV WIMP with σ n = 10 -40 cm 2. Upcoming searches at CDMS, as well as xenon, silicon, and argon targets, can push this limit significantly lower. We also consider the possibility that the DAMA excitation occurs from a metastable state into the XDM state, which decays via e +e - emission, which allows lighter states to explain the INTEGRAL signal due to the small kinetic energies required. Such models yield dramatic signals from down-scattering, with spectra peaking at high energies, sometimes as high as ∼ 1 MeV, well outside the usual search windows. Such signals would be visible at future Ar and Si experiments, and may be visible at Ge and Xe experiments, although γ-rays associated with nuclear excitations would complicate the signal for these heavier targets. We also consider other XDM models involving ∼ 500 keV metastable states, and find they can allow lighter WIMPs to explain INTEGRAL as well.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number037
    JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - 2009


    • Dark matter experiments
    • Dark matter theory

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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