Tracy R. Slatyer - MIT

Tracy R. Slatyer
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Tracy R. Slatyer

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High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (36)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (27)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (23)
High Energy Physics - Theory (3)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (3)
Astrophysics (2)
Nuclear Theory (1)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Tracy R. Slatyer

The thermal relic density of dark matter is conventionally set by two-body annihilations. We point out that in many simple models, $3 \to 2$ annihilations can play an important role in determining the relic density over a broad range of model parameters. This occurs when the two-body annihilation is kinematically forbidden, but the $3\to 2$ process is allowed; we call this scenario "Not-Forbidden Dark Matter". Read More

We calculate the one-loop corrections to TeV scale dark matter annihilation in a model where the dark matter is described by an SU(2)$_L$ triplet of Majorana fermions, such as the wino. We use this framework to determine the high and low-scale MS-bar matching coefficients at both the dark matter and weak boson mass scales at one loop. Part of this calculation has previously been performed in the literature numerically; we find our analytic result differs from the earlier work and discuss potential origins of this disagreement. Read More

The spectrum of Weakly-Interacting-Massive-Particle (WIMP) dark matter generically possesses bound states when the WIMP mass becomes sufficiently large relative to the mass of the electroweak gauge bosons. The presence of these bound states enhances the annihilation rate via resonances in the Sommerfeld enhancement, but they can also be produced directly with the emission of a low-energy photon. In this work we compute the rate for SU(2) triplet dark matter (the wino) to bind into WIMPonium -- which is possible via single-photon emission for wino masses above 5 TeV for relative velocity v < O(10^{-2}) -- and study the subsequent decays of these bound states. Read More

Precise measurements of the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background can be used to constrain the annihilation and decay of dark matter. In this work, we demonstrate via principal component analysis that the imprint of dark matter decay on the cosmic microwave background can be approximately parameterized by a single number for any given dark matter model. We develop a simple prescription for computing this model-dependent detectability factor, and demonstrate how this approach can be used to set model-independent bounds on a large class of decaying dark matter scenarios. Read More

Affiliations: 1JGU Mainz, 2JGU Mainz, 3MIT, 4JGU Mainz, 5MIT

We consider dark matter models in which the mass splitting between the dark matter particles and their annihilation products is tiny. Compared to the previously proposed Forbidden Dark Matter scenario, the mass splittings we consider are much smaller, and are allowed to be either positive or negative. To emphasize this modification, we dub our scenario "Impeded Dark Matter". Read More

Dark matter (DM) halos have long been known to be triaxial, but in studies of possible annihilation and decay signals they are often treated as approximately spherical. In this work, we examine the asymmetry of potential indirect detection signals of DM annihilation and decay, exploiting the large statistics of the hydrodynamic simulation Illustris. We carefully investigate the effects of the baryons on the sphericity of annihilation and decay signals for both the case where the observer is at 8. Read More

Dark matter annihilation or decay could have a significant impact on the ionisation and thermal history of the universe. In this paper, we study the potential contribution of dark matter annihilation (s-wave- or p-wave-dominated) or decay to cosmic reionisation, via the production of electrons, positrons and photons. We map out the possible perturbations to the ionisation and thermal histories of the universe due to dark matter processes, over a broad range of velocity-averaged annihilation cross-sections/decay lifetimes and dark matter masses. Read More

Observations by the Fermi-LAT have uncovered a bright, spherically symmetric excess surrounding the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The spectrum of the gamma-ray excess peaks sharply at an energy ~2 GeV, exhibiting a hard spectrum at lower energies, and falls off quickly above an energy ~5 GeV. The spectrum of the excess above ~10 GeV is potentially an important discriminator between different physical models for its origin. Read More

The Fermi Bubbles are giant Galactic structures observed in both gamma-rays and microwaves. Recent studies have found support for the hypothesis that the gamma-ray and microwave emission can both be understood as arising from a hard cosmic-ray electron population within the volume of the Bubbles, via inverse Compton scattering and synchrotron radiation respectively. The relative rates of these processes are set by the relative energy density of the interstellar radiation field and the magnetic field within the Bubbles; consequently, under the hypothesis of a common origin, the combination of the gamma-ray and microwave measurements can be used to estimate the magnetic field within the Bubbles. Read More

A calculation of the Sommerfeld enhancement is presented and applied to the problem of s-wave non-relativistic dark matter annihilation. The difference from previous computations in the literature is that the effect of the underlying short-range scattering process is consistently included together with the long-range force in the effective QM Schr\"odinger problem. Our procedure satisfies partial-wave unitarity where previous calculations fail. Read More

If dark matter inhabits an expanded "hidden sector", annihilations may proceed through sequential decays or multi-body final states. We map out the potential signals and current constraints on such a framework in indirect searches, using a model-independent setup based on multi-step hierarchical cascade decays. While remaining agnostic to the details of the hidden sector model, our framework captures the generic broadening of the spectrum of secondary particles (photons, neutrinos, e+e- and antiprotons) relative to the case of direct annihilation to Standard Model particles. Read More

We present a new method to characterize unresolved point sources (PSs), generalizing traditional template fits to account for non-Poissonian photon statistics. We apply this method to Fermi Large Area Telescope gamma-ray data to characterize PS populations at high latitudes and in the Inner Galaxy. We find that PSs (resolved and unresolved) account for ~50% of the total extragalactic gamma-ray background in the energy range ~1. Read More

Recent measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies by Planck provide a sensitive probe of dark matter annihilation during the cosmic dark ages, and specifically constrain the annihilation parameter $f_\mathrm{eff} \langle \sigma v \rangle/m_\chi$. Using new results (Paper II) for the ionization produced by particles injected at arbitrary energies, we calculate and provide $f_\mathrm{eff}$ values for photons and $e^+e^-$ pairs injected at keV-TeV energies; the $f_\mathrm{eff}$ value for any dark matter model can be obtained straightforwardly by weighting these results by the spectrum of annihilation products. This result allows the sensitive and robust constraints on dark matter annihilation presented by the Planck Collaboration to be applied to arbitrary dark matter models with $s$-wave annihilation. Read More

Any injection of electromagnetically interacting particles during the cosmic dark ages will lead to increased ionization, heating, production of Lyman-alpha photons and distortions to the energy spectrum of the cosmic microwave background, with potentially observable consequences. In this note we describe numerical results for the low-energy electrons and photons produced by the cooling of particles injected at energies from keV to multi-TeV scales, at arbitrary injection redshifts (but focusing on the post-recombination epoch). We use these data, combined with existing calculations modeling the cooling of these low-energy particles, to estimate the resulting contributions to ionization, excitation and heating of the gas, and production of low-energy photons below the threshold for excitation and ionization. Read More

If dark matter is embedded in a non-trivial dark sector, it may annihilate and decay to lighter dark-sector states which subsequently decay to the Standard Model. Such scenarios - with annihilation followed by cascading dark-sector decays - can explain the apparent excess GeV gamma-rays identified in the central Milky Way, while evading bounds from dark matter direct detection experiments. Each 'step' in the cascade will modify the observable signatures of dark matter annihilation and decay, shifting the resulting photons and other final state particles to lower energies and broadening their spectra. Read More

We formulate an effective field theory description for SU(2)$_L$ triplet fermionic dark matter by combining nonrelativistic dark matter with gauge bosons in the soft-collinear effective theory. For a given dark matter mass, the annihilation cross section to line photons is obtained with 5% precision by simultaneously including Sommerfeld enhancement and the resummation of electroweak Sudakov logarithms at next-to-next-to-leading logarithmic order. Using these results, we present more accurate and precise predictions for the gamma-ray line signal from annihilation, updating both existing constraints and the reach of future experiments. Read More

Self-interacting dark matter scenarios have recently attracted much attention, as a possible means to alleviate the tension between N-body simulations and observations of the dark matter distribution on galactic and sub-galactic scales. The presence of internal structure for the dark matter --- for example, a nearly-degenerate state in the spectrum that could decay, or be collisionally excited or de-excited --- has also been proposed as a possible means to address these discrepancies. Such internal structure can be a source of interesting signatures in direct and indirect dark matter searches, for example providing a novel explanation for the 3. Read More

Past studies have identified a spatially extended excess of $\sim$1-3 GeV gamma rays from the region surrounding the Galactic Center, consistent with the emission expected from annihilating dark matter. We revisit and scrutinize this signal with the intention of further constraining its characteristics and origin. By applying cuts to the \textit{Fermi} event parameter CTBCORE, we suppress the tails of the point spread function and generate high resolution gamma-ray maps, enabling us to more easily separate the various gamma-ray components. Read More

Updated constraints on dark matter cross section and mass are presented combining CMB power spectrum measurements from Planck, WMAP9, ACT, and SPT as well as several low-redshift datasets (BAO, HST, supernovae). For the CMB datasets, we combine WMAP9 temperature and polarization data for l <= 431 with Planck temperature data for 432 < l < 2500, ACT and SPT data for l > 2500, and Planck CMB four-point lensing measurements. We allow for redshift-dependent energy deposition from dark matter annihilation by using a `universal' energy absorption curve. Read More

A fermion triplet of SU(2)_L - a wino - is a well-motivated dark matter candidate. This work shows that present-day wino annihilations are constrained by indirect detection experiments, with the strongest limits coming from H.E. Read More

Anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) have proven to be a very powerful tool to constrain dark matter annihilation at the epoch of recombination. However, CMB constraints are currently derived using a number of reasonable but yet un-tested assumptions that could potentially lead to a misestimation of the true bounds. In this paper we examine the potential impact of these systematic effects. Read More

Using data from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, a spatially extended component of gamma rays has been identified from the direction of the Galactic Center, peaking at energies of ~2-3 GeV. More recently, it has been shown that this signal is not confined to the innermost hundreds of parsecs of the Galaxy, but instead extends to at least ~3 kpc from the Galactic Center. While the spectrum, intensity, and angular distribution of this signal is in good agreement with predictions from annihilating dark matter, it has also been suggested that a population of unresolved millisecond pulsars could be responsible for this excess GeV emission from the Inner Galaxy. Read More

We study the variation of the spectrum of the Fermi Bubbles with Galactic latitude. Far from the Galactic plane (|b| > 30 degrees), the observed gamma-ray emission is nearly invariant with latitude, and is consistent with arising from inverse Compton scattering of the interstellar radiation field by cosmic-ray electrons with an approximately power-law spectrum. The same electrons in the presence of microgauss-scale magnetic fields can also generate the the observed microwave "haze". Read More

Dark matter annihilation or de-excitation, decay of metastable species, or other new physics may inject energetic electrons and photons into the photon-baryon fluid during and after recombination. As such particles cool, they partition their energy into a large number of efficiently ionizing electrons and photons, which in turn modify the ionization history. Recent work has provided a simple method for constraining arbitrary energy deposition histories using the cosmic microwave background (CMB); in this note, we present results describing the energy deposition histories for photons and electrons as a function of initial energy and injection redshift. Read More

Supersymmetric theories with an R-parity generally yield a striking missing energy signature, with cascade decays concluding in a neutralino that escapes the detector. In theories where R-parity is broken the missing energy is replaced with additional jets or leptons, often making traditional search strategies ineffective. Such R-parity violation is very constrained, however, by resulting B and L violating signals, requiring couplings so small that LSPs will decay outside the detector in all but a few scenarios. Read More

There is evidence for a 130 GeV gamma-ray line at the Galactic Center in the Fermi Large Area Telescope data. Dark matter candidates that explain this feature should also annihilate to Standard Model particles, resulting in a continuous spectrum of photons. To study this continuum, we analyze the Fermi data down to 5 GeV, restricted to the inner 3 degrees of the Galaxy. Read More

Observations by ARCADE-2 and other telescopes sensitive to low frequency radiation have revealed the presence of an isotropic radio background with a hard spectral index. The intensity of this observed background is found to exceed the flux predicted from astrophysical sources by a factor of approximately 5-6. In this article, we consider the possibility that annihilating dark matter particles provide the primary contribution to the observed isotropic radio background through the emission of synchrotron radiation from electron and positron annihilation products. Read More

High-precision measurements of the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background radiation have been previously employed to set robust constraints on dark matter annihilation during recombination. In this work we improve and generalize these constraints to apply to energy deposition during the recombination era with arbitrary redshift dependence. Our approach also provides more rigorous and model-independent bounds on dark matter annihilation and decay scenarios. Read More

In models of dark matter (DM) with Sommerfeld-enhanced annihilation, where the annihilation rate scales as the inverse velocity, N-body simulations of DM structure formation suggest that the local annihilation signal may be dominated by small, dense, cold subhalos. This contrasts with the usual assumption of a signal originating from the smooth DM halo, with much higher velocity dispersion. Accounting for local substructure modifies the parameter space for which Sommerfeld-enhanced annihilating DM can explain the PAMELA and Fermi excesses. Read More

We initiate a systematic study of amplitudes with massive external particles on the Coulomb-branch of N=4 super Yang Mills theory: 1) We propose that (multi-)soft-scalar limits of massless amplitudes at the origin of moduli space can be used to determine Coulomb-branch amplitudes to leading order in the mass. This is demonstrated in numerous examples. 2) We find compact explicit expressions for several towers of tree-level amplitudes, including scattering of two massive W-bosons with any number of positive helicity gluons, valid for all values of the mass. Read More

(Abridged) The extragalactic background light (EBL) observed at multiple wavelengths is a promising tool to probe the nature of dark matter since it might contain a significant contribution from gamma-rays produced promptly by dark matter annihilation. Additionally, the electrons and positrons produced in the annihilation give energy to the CMB photons to populate the EBL with X-rays and gamma-rays. We here create full-sky maps of the radiation from both of these contributions using the high-resolution Millennium-II simulation. Read More

Anomalies in direct and indirect detection have motivated models of dark matter consisting of a multiplet of nearly-degenerate states, coupled by a new GeV-scale interaction. We perform a careful analysis of the thermal freezeout of dark matter annihilation in such a scenario. We compute the range of "boost factors" arising from Sommerfeld enhancement in the local halo for models which produce the correct relic density, and show the effect of including constraints on the saturated enhancement from the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Read More

Data from the Fermi-LAT reveal two large gamma-ray bubbles, extending 50 degrees above and below the Galactic center, with a width of about 40 degrees in longitude. The gamma-ray emission associated with these bubbles has a significantly harder spectrum (dN/dE ~ E^-2) than the IC emission from electrons in the Galactic disk, or the gamma-rays produced by decay of pions from proton-ISM collisions. There is no significant spatial variation in the spectrum or gamma-ray intensity within the bubbles, or between the north and south bubbles. Read More

We present an analysis of the Sommerfeld enhancement to dark matter annihilation in the presence of an excited state, where the interaction inducing the enhancement is purely off-diagonal, such as in models of exciting or inelastic dark matter. We derive a simple and accurate semi-analytic approximation for the s-wave enhancement, which is valid provided the mass splitting between the ground and excited states is not too large, and discuss the cutoff of the enhancement for large mass splittings. We reproduce previously derived results in the appropriate limits, and demonstrate excellent agreement with numerical calculations of the enhancement. Read More


The Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope reveals a diffuse inverse Compton signal in the inner Galaxy with a similar spatial morphology to the microwave haze observed by WMAP, supporting the synchrotron interpretation of the microwave signal. Using spatial templates, we regress out pi0 gammas, as well as IC and bremsstrahlung components associated with known soft-synchrotron counterparts. We find a significant gamma-ray excess towards the Galactic center with a spectrum that is significantly harder than other sky components and is most consistent with IC from a hard population of electrons. Read More

We describe a simple test of the spatial uniformity of an ensemble of discrete events. Given an estimate for the point source luminosity function and an instrumental point spread function (PSF), a robust upper bound on the fractional point source contribution to a diffuse signal can be found. We verify with Monte Carlo tests that the statistic has advantages over the two-point correlation function for this purpose, and derive analytic estimates of the statistic's mean and variance as a function of the point source contribution. Read More

Recently, a preliminary spectrum from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has been presented for the inner galaxy (-30 < l < 30, -5 < b < 5), as well as the galactic center (-1 < l < 1, -1< b < 1). We consider the implications of these data for dark matter annihilation models, especially models capable of producing the cosmic-ray excesses previously observed by PAMELA and Fermi. These local cosmic-ray excesses, when extrapolated to the inner galaxy, imply inverse Compton scattering (ICS) gamma-ray signals largely consistent with the preliminary Fermi gamma-ray spectrum. Read More

We compute in detail the rate at which energy injected by dark matter annihilation heats and ionizes the photon-baryon plasma at z ~ 1000, and provide accurate fitting functions over the relevant redshift range for a broad array of annihilation channels and DM masses. The resulting perturbations to the ionization history can be constrained by measurements of the CMB temperature and polarization angular power spectra. We show that models which fit recently measured excesses in 10-1000 GeV electron and positron cosmic rays are already close to the 95% confidence limits from WMAP. Read More

Models of dark matter with ~ GeV scale force mediators provide attractive explanations of many high energy anomalies, including PAMELA, ATIC, and the WMAP haze. At the same time, by exploiting the ~ MeV scale excited states that are automatically present in such theories, these models naturally explain the DAMA/LIBRA and INTEGRAL signals through the inelastic dark matter (iDM) and exciting dark matter (XDM) scenarios, respectively. Interestingly, with only weak kinetic mixing to hypercharge to mediate decays, the lifetime of excited states with delta < 2 m_e is longer than the age of the universe. Read More

We consider the nuclear scattering cross section for the eXciting Dark Matter (XDM) model. In XDM, the Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) couple to the Standard Model only via an intermediate light scalar which mixes with the Higgs: this leads to a suppression in the nuclear scattering cross section relative to models in which the WIMPs couple to the Higgs directly. We estimate this suppression factor to be of order 10^(-5). Read More

We propose a comprehensive theory of dark matter that explains the recent proliferation of unexpected observations in high-energy astrophysics. Cosmic ray spectra from ATIC and PAMELA require a WIMP with mass M_chi ~ 500 - 800 GeV that annihilates into leptons at a level well above that expected from a thermal relic. Signals from WMAP and EGRET reinforce this interpretation. Read More

We consider a brane generated by a scalar field domain wall configuration in 4+1 dimensions, interpolating, in most cases, between two vacua of the field. We study the cosmology of such a system in the cases where the effective four-dimensional brane metric is de Sitter or anti de Sitter, including a discussion of the bulk coordinate singularities present in the de-Sitter case. We demonstrate that a scalar field kink configuration can support a brane with dS$_4$ cosmology, despite the presence of coordinate singularities in the metric. Read More