Archive for January, 2012


18 January, 2012

In High Energy Physics on January 20, 2012 by physthjc

1) Variable sources in gamma-ray 

  • Variable gamma-ray sky at 1 GeV
    abstract:  We search for the long-term variability of the \gamma-ray sky in the energy range E > 1 GeV with 168 weeks of Fermi-LAT data. We perform a full sky blind search for regions with variable flux looking for deviations from uniformity. We bin the sky into 12288 bins using Healpix package and use Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to compare weekly photon counts in each bin with a constant flux hypothesis. The weekly exposure of Fermi-LAT for each bin is calculated with the Fermi-LAT tools. We consider flux variations in the bin significant if statistical probability of uniformity is less than 4e-6, which corresponds to 0.05 false detections in the whole set. We identified 117 variable sources, variability of 27 of which has not been reported before. Among the sources with previously unidentified variability there are 25 AGNs belonging to blazar class (11 BL Lacs and 14 FSRQs), one AGN of uncertain type and one pulsar PSR J0633+1746 (Geminga). The observed long term flux variability of Geminga has a statistical significance of 5.1\sigma.


11 January, 2012

In High Energy Physics on January 20, 2012 by physthjc

1) Gamma-ray Emissions and Dark Matter

  • Evidence for extended gamma-ray emission from galaxy clusters
    abstract:  We report evidence for extended gamma-ray emission from the Virgo, Fornax and Coma clusters based on a maximum-likelihood analysis of the 3-year Fermi-LAT data. For all three clusters, excess emission is observed within three degrees of the center, peaking at the GeV scale. This emission cannot be accounted for by known Fermi sources or by the galactic and extragalactic backgrounds. If interpreted as annihilation emission from supersymmetric dark matter (DM) particles, the data prefer models with a particle mass in the range 20-60 GeV annihilating into the b-bbar channel, or 2-10 GeV and >1 TeV annihilating into mu-mu final states. Our results are consistent with those obtained by Hooper and Linden from a recent analysis of Fermi-LAT data in the region of the Galactic Centre. An extended DM annihilation profile dominated by emission from substructures is preferred over a simple point source model. The significance of DM detection is 4.4 sigma in Virgo and lower in the other two clusters. We also consider the possibility that the excess emission arises from cosmic ray (CR) induced gamma-rays, and infer a CR level within a factor of three of that expected from analytical models. However, the significance of a CR component is lower than the significance of a DM component, and there is no need for such a CR component in the presence of a DM component in the preferred DM mass range. We also set flux and cross-section upper limits for DM annihilation into the b-bbar and mu-mu channels in all three clusters.
  • The Empirical case for 10 Gev Dark Matter
    abstract: In this article, I summarize and discuss the body of evidence which has accumulated in favor of dark matter in the form of approximately 10 GeV particles. This evidence includes the spectrum and angular distribution of gamma rays from the Galactic Center, the synchrotron emission from the Milky Way’s radio filaments, the diffuse synchrotron emission from the Inner Galaxy (the “WMAP Haze”) and low-energy signals from the direct detection experiments DAMA/LIBRA, CoGeNT and CRESST-II. This collection of observations can be explained by a relatively light dark matter particle with an annihilation cross section consistent with that predicted for a simple thermal relic (sigma v ~ 10^-26 cm^3/s) and with a distribution in the halo of the Milky Way consistent with that predicted from simulations. Astrophysical explanations for the gamma ray and synchrotron signals, in contrast, have not been successful in accommodating these observations. Similarly, the phase of the annual modulation observed by DAMA/LIBRA (and now supported by CoGeNT) is inconsistent with all known or postulated modulating backgrounds, but are in good agreement with expectations for dark matter scattering. This scenario is consistent with all existing indirect and collider constraints, as well as the constraints placed by CDMS. Consistency with xenon-based experiments can be achieved if the response of liquid xenon to very low-energy nuclear recoils is somewhat suppressed relative to previous evaluations, or if the dark matter possesses different couplings to protons and neutrons.


21 December, 2011

In High Energy Physics on January 11, 2012 by physthjc

1) Galactic Radio Emission and WIMPs

  • Cosmological Radio Emission induced by WIMP Dark Matter
    abstract:  We present a detailed analysis of the radio synchrotron emission induced by WIMP dark matter annihilations and decays in extragalactic halos. We compute intensity, angular correlation, and source counts and discuss the impact on the expected signals of dark matter clustering, as well as of other astrophysical uncertainties as magnetic fields and spatial diffusion. Bounds on dark matter microscopic properties are then derived, and, depending on the specific set of assumptions, they are competitive with constraints from other indirect dark matter searches. At GHz frequencies, dark matter sources can become a significant fraction of the total number of sources with brightness below the microJansky level. We show that, at this level of fluxes (which are within the reach of the next-generation radio surveys), properties of the faint edge of differential source counts, as well as angular correlation data, can become an important probe for WIMPs.
  • Galactic Synchroton emission from WIMPs at radio frequencies
    abstract: Dark matter annihilations in the Galactic halo inject relativistic electrons and positrons which in turn generate a synchrotron radiation when interacting with the galactic magnetic field. We calculate the synchrotron flux for various dark matter annihilation channels, masses, and astrophysical assumptions in the low-frequency range and compare our results with radio surveys from 22 MHz to 1420 MHz. We find that current observations are able to constrain particle dark matter with “thermal” annihilation cross-sections, i.e. (\sigma v) = 3 x 10^-26 cm^3/s, and masses M_DM < 10 GeV. We discuss the dependence of these bounds on the astrophysical assumptions, namely galactic dark matter distribution, cosmic rays propagation parameters, and structure of the galactic magnetic field. Prospects for detection in future radio surveys are outlined.
  • A dark matter interpretation for the ARCADE excess?
    abstract: The ARCADE 2 Collaboration has recently measured an isotropic radio emission which is significantly brighter than the expected contributions from known extra-galactic sources. The simplest explanation of such excess involves a “new” population of unresolved sources which become the most numerous at very low (observationally unreached) brightness. We investigate this scenario in terms of synchrotron radiation induced by WIMP annihilations or decays in extragalactic halos. Intriguingly, for light-mass WIMPs with thermal annihilation cross-section, and fairly conservative clustering assumptions, the level of expected radio emission matches the ARCADE observations.

2) Asymptotically Safe gravity and the Higgs mass

  • Asymptotic safety of gravity and the Higgs boson mass
    abstract: There are indications that gravity is asymptotically safe. The Standard Model (SM) plus gravity could be valid up to arbitrarily high energies. Supposing that this is indeed the case and assuming that there are no intermediate energy scales between the Fermi and Planck scales we address the question of whether the mass of the Higgs boson $m_H$ can be predicted. For a positive gravity induced anomalous dimension $A_\lambda>0$ the running of the quartic scalar self interaction $\lambda$ at scales beyond the Planck mass is determined by a fixed point at zero. This results in $m_H=m_{\rm min}=126$ GeV, with only a few GeV uncertainty. This prediction is independent of the details of the short distance running and holds for a wide class of extensions of the SM as well. For $A_\lambda <0$ one finds $m_H$ in the interval $m_{\rm min}< m_H < m_{\rm max}\simeq 174$ GeV, now sensitive to $A_\lambda$ and other properties of the short distance running. The case $A_\lambda>0$ is favored by explicit computations existing in the literature.