Dan Hooper on Light WIMPs

“The thermal abundance (“WIMP Miracle”) argument works roughly equally well for WIMPs with masses between ~1 GeV and several TeV, but historically, physicists have focused on ~40 GeV to ~1 TeV WIMPs, and papers have been written, analyses have been carried out, and experiments have been designed (and funded) with this bias in mind. But, I know of no compelling argument for why dark matter should not consist of ~1-20 GeV particles.” Dan Hooper (Fermilab/University of Chicago) vindicates “Light WIMPs!,” at TeV Particle Astrophysics Workshop, August 2011.

The body of evidence is quite suggestive: “DAMA/LIBRA, CoGeNT, and CRESST have each reported signals which are inconsistent with known backgrounds, and (roughly) consistent with the elastic scattering of ~5-10 GeV dark matter particles; the spectrum of gamma rays from the region surrounding the Galactic Center peaks at a few GeV, consistent with a ~7-10 GeV dark matter particle annihilating largely to leptons, with a cross section on the order of that predicted by relic abundance considerations.”

However, “the case is not yet incontrovertible.”

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