High Energy Physics Seminar
Celestial bodies act as large dark matter (DM) detectors through gravitational capture, allowing for a variety of searches that complement direct detection efforts. However, there is a minimum testable DM mass for almost all DM signatures in celestial bodies that is determined by the rate at which DM evaporates. DM evaporation has previously been calculated assuming a competition between the gravitational potential of the object, and thermal kicks from the celestial-body matter. In this talk, I will point out a new effect, where mediators with a range larger than the interparticle spacing induce a force proportional to the density gradient of celestial objects, forming an evaporation barrier for the DM. This effect can be so significant that evaporation does not occur even for sub-MeV DM, in stark contrast to previous calculations. I will discuss how this opens up new light DM searches in celestial bodies, many orders of magnitude in DM mass below the sensitivity of direct detection.
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