Dark matter candidates comprising several substates separated by a small mass gap Δm, and coupled to the standard model by (sub-)GeV force carriers, can exhibit nontrivial scattering interactions in direct-detection experiments. We analyze the secluded U(1)S-mediated weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) scenario, and calculate the elastic and inelastic cross sections for multicomponent WIMP scattering off nuclei. We find that second-order elastic scattering, mediated by virtual excited states, provides strong sensitivity to the parameters of the model for a wide range of mass splittings, while for small Δm the WIMP excited states have lifetimes exceeding the age of the Universe, and generically have a fractional relative abundance above 0.1%. This generates even stronger constraints for Δm 200keV due to exothermic deexcitation events in detectors.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology|
|State||Published - Jun 25 2009|