Pulsars versus dark matter interpretation of ATIC/PAMELA

Dmitry Malyshev, Ilias Cholis, Joseph Gelfand

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In this paper, we study the flux of electrons and positrons injected by pulsars and by annihilating or decaying dark matter in the context of recent ATIC, PAMELA, Fermi, and HESS data. We review the flux from a single pulsar and derive the flux from a distribution of pulsars. We point out that the particle acceleration in the pulsar magnetosphere is insufficient to explain the observed excess of electrons and positrons with energy E∼1TeV and one has to take into account an additional acceleration of electrons at the termination shock between the pulsar and its wind nebula. We show that at energies less than a few hundred GeV, the expected flux from a continuous distribution of pulsars provides a good approximation to the expected flux from pulsars in the Australia Telescope National Facility catalog. At higher energies, we demonstrate that the electron/positron flux measured at the Earth will be dominated by a few young nearby pulsars, and therefore the spectrum would contain bumplike features. We argue that the presence of such features at high energies would strongly suggest a pulsar origin of the anomalous contribution to electron and positron fluxes. The absence of features either points to a dark matter origin or constrains pulsar models in such a way that the fluctuations are suppressed. Also we derive that the features can be partially smeared due to spatial variation of the energy losses during propagation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063005
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 17 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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