The PAMELA positron excess from annihilations into a light boson

Ilias Cholis, Douglas P. Finkbeiner, Lisa Goodenough, Neal Weiner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Recently published results from the PAMELA experiment have shown conclusive evidence for an excess of positrons at high (∼ 10-100GeV) energies, confirming earlier indications from HEAT and AMS-01. Such a signal is generally expected from dark matter annihilations. However, the hard positron spectrum and large amplitude are difficult to achieve in most conventional WIMP models. The absence of any associated excess in anti-protons is highly constraining on models with hadronic annihilation modes. We revisit an earlier proposal, wherein the dark matter annihilates into a new light (≲GeV) boson φ, which is kinematically constrained to go to hard leptonic states, without anti-protons or π0's. We find this provides a very good fit to the data. The light boson naturally provides a mechanism by which large cross sections can be achieved through the Sommerfeld enhancement, as was recently proposed. Depending on the mass of the WIMP, the rise may continue above 300 GeV, the extent of PAMELA's ability to discriminate between electrons and positrons.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number007
    JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - 2009


    • Cosmic ray experiments
    • Cosmic ray theory
    • Dark matter experiments
    • Dark matter theory

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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