Self-destructing atomic dark matter

Michael Geller, Ofri Telem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Self-destructing dark matter (SDDM) is a class of dark sector models in which the collision of a dark sector particle with the earth induces its prompt decay into Standard Model particles, generating unique signals at neutrino detectors. The inherent fragility of SDDM makes its survival from the early Universe unlikely, implying a late time production mechanism. We present an efficient late time production mechanism for SDDM based on atomic rearrangement, the mechanism responsible for muon or antiproton capture in hydrogen. In this model, an atomic rearrangement process occurs in our Galaxy, converting dark atoms into highly excited bound states - our SDDM candidates. While the resulting SDDM is only a small fraction of the dark matter flux, its striking self-destruction signals imply a significant discovery reach in the existing data from the Super-Kamiokande experiment.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number035010
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Iason Baldes, Asher Berlin, Itay Bloch-Mimouni, Jeff Dror, Mitrajyoti Ghosh, Yann Gouttenoire, Yuval Grossman, Ed Kearns, Simon Knapen, Eric Kuflik, Marcus Luty, Nadav Joseph Outmezguine, Yael Shadmi, Yotam Soreq, Chen Sun, and Tomer Volansky for useful discussions. We would especially like to thank Jeff Dror, Eric Kuflik, and Tomer Volansky for invaluable comments on the draft. Many thanks to Asher Berlin and Simon Knapen, who helped us avoid an unnecessary mistake concerning the BBN bound on our model. M. G. thanks the hospitality of KITP at UC Santa Barbara and MIAPP where part of this project was completed. M. G. is supported in part by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 1302/19), the US-Israeli BSF grant (2018236) and the German-Israeli GIF Grant No. I-2524-303.7/2019. O. T. is supported in part by the DOE under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the ""Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI. Funded by SCOAP3.


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