Journal article

Nucleon Structure and Strong Interactions in Dark Matter Capture in Neutron Stars

Nicole F Bell, Giorgio Busoni, Theo F Motta, Sandra Robles, Anthony W Thomas, Michael Virgato

PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS | AMER PHYSICAL SOC | Published : 2021

Abstract

We outline two important effects that are missing from most evaluations of the dark matter capture rate in neutron stars. As dark matter scattering with nucleons in the star involves large momentum transfer, nucleon structure must be taken into account via a momentum dependence of the hadronic form factors. In addition, due to the high density of neutron star matter, we should account for nucleon interactions rather than modeling the nucleons as an ideal Fermi gas. Properly incorporating these effects is found to suppress the dark matter capture rate by up to 3 orders of magnitude for the heaviest stars.

Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

N. F. B., S. R., and A. W. T. were supported in part by the Australian Research Council and M. V. by the Commonwealth of Australia. We thank Filippo Anzuini and Andrew Melatos for discussions.