Exclusion of leptophilic dark matter models using XENON100 electronic recoil data

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Science  21 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6250, pp. 851-854
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab2069

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Limiting unknows in the dark side

Our knowledge of the inventory of stuff that makes up our universe amounts to a humbling 5%. The rest consists of either dark energy (~70%) or dark matter (~25%). Using atom interferometry, Hamilton et al. describe the results of experiments that controlled for dark energy screening mechanisms in individual atoms, not bulk matter. Aprile et al. report on an analysis of data taken with the XENON100 detectors aiming to identify dark matter particles directly by monitoring their rare interaction with ordinary matter. In this setup, a large underground tank of liquid xenon forms a target for weakly interacting m assive particles. These combined results set limits on several types of proposed dark matter and dark energy candidates (see the Perspective by Schmiedmayer and Abele).

Science, this issue p. 849, p. 851; see also p. 786


Laboratory experiments searching for galactic dark matter particles scattering off nuclei have so far not been able to establish a discovery. We use data from the XENON100 experiment to search for dark matter interacting with electrons. With no evidence for a signal above the low background of our experiment, we exclude a variety of representative dark matter models that would induce electronic recoils. For axial-vector couplings to electrons, we exclude cross sections above 6 × 10–35 cm2 for particle masses of mχ = 2 GeV/c2. Independent of the dark matter halo, we exclude leptophilic models as an explanation for the long-standing DAMA/LIBRA signal, such as couplings to electrons through axial-vector interactions at a 4.4σ confidence level, mirror dark matter at 3.6σ, and luminous dark matter at 4.6σ.

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