Direct detection constraints on dark photon dark matter

Haipeng An, Maxim Pospelov, Josef Pradler, Adam Ritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Dark matter detectors built primarily to probe elastic scattering of WIMPs on nuclei are also precise probes of light, weakly coupled, particles that may be absorbed by the detector material. In this paper, we derive constraints on the minimal model of dark matter comprised of long-lived vector states V (dark photons) in the 0.01-100keV mass range. The absence of an ionization signal in direct detection experiments such as XENON10 and XENON100 places a very strong constraint on the dark photon mixing angle, down to O(10-15), assuming that dark photons comprise the dominant fraction of dark matter. This sensitivity to dark photon dark matter exceeds the indirect bounds derived from stellar energy loss considerations over a significant fraction of the available mass range. We also revisit indirect constraints from V→3γ decay and show that limits from modifications to the cosmological ionization history are comparable to the updated limits from the diffuse γ-ray flux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-338
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Fei Gao, Liang Dai, and Jeremy Mardon for helpful discussions. HA is supported by the Walter Burke Institute at Caltech and by DOE Grant DE-SC0011632 . The work of MP and AR is supported in part by NSERC , Canada, and research at the Perimeter Institute is supported in part by the Government of Canada through NSERC and by the Province of Ontario through MEDT. JP is supported by the New Frontiers program of the Austrian Academy of Sciences .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Authors.


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