Jun 23 – 28, 2014
Europe/Zurich timezone

Search for Light Dark Matter with X-rays and Implications of a Possible Detection

Jun 25, 2014, 3:20 PM
Room 6 (Tuschinski Theatre)

Room 6

Tuschinski Theatre

Presentation Dark Matter Indirect Detection Dark Matter: Indirect Detection


Dr Michael Loewenstein (University of Maryland/CRESST/NASA-GSFC)


After briefly summarizing previous constraints on dark matter candidates that produce X-ray emission lines via radiative decay, with an emphasis on the sterile neutrino and moduli dark matter, I present the recent detection by our team of a candidate dark matter feature at ~3.56 keV. This weak unidentified emission line was discovered by stacking XMM-Newton spectrum of 73 galaxy clusters -- a method that minimizes statistical and systematic uncertainties. The implications for identifying the dark matter particle and for physics beyond the Standard Model are discussed. I also indicate the uncertainties and caveats that remain with respect to the significance of the line and its interpretation as originating from dark matter decay. I look forward to future work that can narrow down the possible interpretations -- focusing on the prospects of observations with the high energy resolution Soft X-ray Spectrometer, the featured detector aboard the Astro-H X-ray Observatory scheduled for a 2015 launch.

Primary author

Dr Michael Loewenstein (University of Maryland/CRESST/NASA-GSFC)


Dr Adam Foster (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) Dr Esra Bulbul (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysic) Dr Maxim Markevitch (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) Dr Randall Smith (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) Dr Scott Randall (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Presentation materials