Impact of dark matter microhalos on signatures for direct and indirect detection

Aurel Schneider, Lawrence Krauss, Ben Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Detecting dark matter as it streams through detectors on Earth relies on knowledge of its phase space density on a scale comparable to the size of our Solar System. Numerical simulations predict that our galactic halo contains an enormous hierarchy of substructures, streams and caustics, the remnants of the merging hierarchy that began with tiny Earth-mass microhalos. If these bound or coherent structures persist until the present time, they could dramatically alter signatures for the detection of weakly interacting elementary particle dark matter. Using numerical simulations that follow the coarse grained tidal disruption within the Galactic potential and fine grained heating from stellar encounters, we find that microhalos, streams, and caustics have a negligible likelihood of impacting direct detection signatures implying that dark matter constraints derived using simple smooth halo models are relatively robust. We also find that many dense central cusps survive, yielding a small enhancement in the signal for indirect detection experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063525
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Volume82
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 21 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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