Constraining strong baryon-dark-matter interactions with primordial nucleosynthesis and cosmic rays

Richard H. Cyburt, Brian D. Fields, Vasiliki Pavlidou, Benjamin Wandelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) was introduced by Spergel and Steinhardt to address possible discrepancies between collisionless dark matter simulations and observations on scales of less than 1 Mpc. We examine the case in which dark matter particles not only have strong self-interactions but also have strong interactions with baryons. The presence of such interactions will have direct implications for nuclear and particle astrophysics. Among these are a change in the predicted abundances from big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) and the flux of γ rays produced by the decay of neutral pions which originate in collisions between dark matter and galactic cosmic rays (CR). From these effects we constrain the strength of the baryon-dark-matter interactions through the ratio of baryon-dark-matter interaction cross section to dark matter mass, s. We find that BBN places a weak upper limit on this ratio ≲ 108 cm2 g-1. CR-SIDM interactions, however, limit the possible DM-baryon cross section to ≲ 5 X 10-3 cm2 g-1; this rules out an energy-independent interaction, but not one which falls with center-of-mass velocity s ∝ 1/v or steeper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123503
Pages (from-to)1235031-1235039
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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