Hadronic uncertainties in the elastic scattering of supersymmetric dark matter

John Ellis*, Keith A. Olive, Christopher Savage

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

350 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We review the uncertainties in the spin-independent and spin-dependent elastic scattering cross sections of supersymmetric dark matter particles on protons and neutrons. We propagate the uncertainties in quark masses and hadronic matrix elements that are related to the pi-nucleon sigma term and the spin content of the nucleon. By far the largest single uncertainty is that in spin-independent scattering induced by our ignorance of the <N vertical bar(q) over barq vertical bar N > matrix elements linked to the pi-nucleon sigma term, which affects the ratio of cross sections on proton and neutron targets as well as their absolute values. This uncertainty is already impacting the interpretations of experimental searches for cold dark matter. We plead for an experimental campaign to determine better the pi-nucleon sigma term. Uncertainties in the spin content of the proton affect significantly, but less strongly, the calculation of rates used in indirect searches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065026
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Review D (Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology)
Volume77
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

Keywords

  • GALACTIC-CENTER
  • NUCLEON CROSS-SECTION
  • ZEPLIN-II
  • HIGH-ENERGY NEUTRINOS
  • RELIC DENSITY
  • NEUTRALINO ANNIHILATION
  • HIGGS-BOSON
  • PARTICLE PHYSICS
  • SIGMA-TERM
  • MINIMAL SUPERGRAVITY

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