276 research outputs found

    Particle physics catalysis of thermal Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

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    We point out that the existence of metastable, tau > 10^3 s, negatively charged electroweak-scale particles (X^-) alters the predictions for lithium and other primordial elemental abundances for A>4 via the formation of bound states with nuclei during BBN. In particular, we show that the bound states of X^- with helium, formed at temperatures of about T=10^8K, lead to the catalytic enhancement of Li6 production, which is eight orders of magnitude more efficient than the standard channel. In particle physics models where subsequent decay of X^- does not lead to large non-thermal BBN effects, this directly translates to the level of sensitivity to the number density of long-lived X^-, particles (\tau>10^5 s) relative to entropy of n_{X^-}/s < 3\times 10^{-17}, which is one of the most stringent probes of electroweak scale remnants known to date.Comment: Some typos correcte

    Novel direct detection constraints on light dark matter

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    All attempts to directly detect particle dark matter (DM) scattering on nuclei suffer from the partial or total loss of sensitivity for DM masses in the GeV range or below. We derive novel constraints from the inevitable existence of a subdominant, but highly energetic, component of DM generated through collisions with cosmic rays. Subsequent scattering inside conventional DM detectors, as well as neutrino detectors sensitive to nuclear recoils, limits the DM-nucleon scattering cross section to be below 103110^{-31} cm2^2 for both spin-independent and spin-dependent scattering of light DM.Comment: 7 pages revtex4, 3 figures. Version to appear in Phys. Rev. Let