Samuel J. Witte

Samuel J. Witte
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Samuel J. Witte

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (8)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (8)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (2)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (1)

Publications Authored By Samuel J. Witte

We present an updated halo-dependent and halo-independent analysis of viable light WIMP dark matter candidates which could account for the excess observed in CDMS-II-Si. We include recent constraints from LUX, PandaX-II, and PICO-60, as well as projected sensitivities for XENON1T, SuperCDMS SNOLAB, LZ, DARWIN, DarkSide-20k, and PICO-250, on candidates with spin-independent isospin conserving and isospin-violating interactions, and either elastic or exothermic scattering. We show that there exist dark matter candidates which can explain the CDMS-II-Si data and remain very marginally consistent with the null results of all current experiments, however such models are highly tuned, making a dark matter interpretation of CDMS-II-Si very unlikely. Read More

It has recently been demonstrated that, in the event of a putative signal in dark matter direct detection experiments, properly identifying the underlying dark matter-nuclei interaction promises to be a challenging task. Given the most optimistic expectations for the number counts of recoil events in the forthcoming Generation 2 experiments, differentiating between interactions that produce distinct features in the recoil energy spectra will only be possible if a strong signal is observed simultaneously on a variety of complementary targets. However, there is a wide range of viable theories that give rise to virtually identical energy spectra, and may only differ by the dependence of the recoil rate on the dark matter velocity. Read More

Utilizing an exhaustive set of simplified models, we revisit dark matter scenarios potentially capable of generating the observed Galactic Center gamma-ray excess, updating constraints from the LUX and PandaX-II experiments, as well as from the LHC and other colliders. We identify a variety of pseudoscalar mediated models that remain consistent with all constraints. In contrast, dark matter candidates which annihilate through a spin-1 mediator are ruled out by direct detection constraints unless the mass of the mediator is near an annihilation resonance, or the mediator has a purely vector coupling to the dark matter and a purely axial coupling to Standard Model fermions. Read More

Utilizing data from the ELVIS and Via Lactea-II simulations, we characterize the local dark matter subhalo population, and use this information to refine the predictions for the gamma-ray fluxes arising from annihilating dark matter in this class of objects. We find that the shapes of nearby subhalos are significantly altered by tidal effects, and are generally not well described by NFW density profiles, instead prefering power-law profiles with an exponential cutoff. From the subhalo candidates detected by the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, we place limits on the dark matter annihilation cross section that are only modestly weaker than those based on observations of dwarf galaxies. Read More

We present two different halo-independent methods to assess the compatibility of several direct dark matter detection data sets for a given dark matter model using a global likelihood consisting of at least one extended likelihood and an arbitrary number of Gaussian or Poisson likelihoods. In the first method we find the global best fit halo function (we prove that it is a unique piecewise constant function with a number of down steps smaller than or equal to a maximum number that we compute) and construct a two-sided pointwise confidence band at any desired confidence level, which can then be compared with those derived from the extended likelihood alone to assess the joint compatibility of the data. In the second method we define a "constrained parameter goodness-of-fit" test statistic, whose $p$-value we then use to define a "plausibility region" (e. Read More

Earth's rotation about the Sun produces an annual modulation in the expected scattering rate at direct dark matter detection experiments. The annual modulation as a function of the recoil energy $E_\text{R}$ imparted by the dark matter particle to a target nucleus is expected to vary depending on the detector material. However, for most interactions a change of variables from $E_\text{R}$ to $v_\text{min}$, the minimum speed a dark matter particle must have to impart a fixed $E_\text{R}$ to a target nucleus, produces an annual modulation independent of the target element. Read More

We study how gravitational focusing (GF) of dark matter by the Sun affects the annual and biannual modulation of the expected signal in non-directional direct dark matter searches, in the presence of dark matter substructure in the local dark halo. We consider the Sagittarius stream and a possible dark disk, and show that GF suppresses some, but not all, of the distinguishing features that would characterize substructure of the dark halo were GF neglected. Read More

Due to Earth's revolution around the Sun, the expected scattering rate in direct dark matter searches is annually modulated. This modulation is expected to differ between experiments when given as a function of recoil energy $E_\text{R}$, e.g. Read More