DAMA and WIMP dark matter

Frank J. Petriello, Kathryn M. Zurek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


We study whether spin-independent scattering of weakly-interacting massive particles (WIMPs) with nuclei can account for the annual modulation signal reported by DAMA. We consider both elastic and inelastic scattering processes. We find that there is a region of WIMP parameter space which can simultaneously accommodate DAMA and the null results of CDMS, CRESST, and XENON. This region corresponds to an ordinary, elastically-scattering WIMP with a standard Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, a mass 3 GeV ≲ m DM ≲ 8 GeV, and a spin-independent cross section with nucleons 3 × 10 -41 cm 2 ≲ σ p SI ≲ 5 × 10 -392. This new region of parameter space depends crucially on the effect of channeling on the energy threshold for WIMP detection in the DAMA experiment; without the inclusion of this effect, the DAMA allowed region is essentially closed by null experiments. Such low-mass WIMPs arise in many theories of Beyond the Standard Model physics, from minimal extensions of the MSSM to solutions of the baryon-dark matter coincidence problem. We find that inelastic scattering channels do not open up a significant parameter region consistent with all experimental results. Future experiments with low energy thresholds for detecting nuclear recoils, such as CDMSII-Si and those utilizing ultra-low energy germanium detectors, will be able to probe the DAMA region of parameter space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number047
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008


  • Beyond standard model
  • Cosmology of theories beyond the SM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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