A Caltech Library Service

Effective field theory of dark matter direct detection with collective excitations

Trickle, Tanner and Zhang, Zhengkang and Zurek, Kathryn M. (2022) Effective field theory of dark matter direct detection with collective excitations. Physical Review D, 105 (1). Art. No. 015001. ISSN 2470-0010. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.105.015001.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We develop a framework for computing light dark matter direct detection rates through single phonon and magnon excitations via general effective operators. Our work generalizes previous calculations focused on spin-independent interactions involving the total nucleon and electron numbers N (the usual route to excite phonons) and spin-dependent interactions involving the total electron spin S (the usual route to excite magnons), leading us to identify new responses involving the orbital angular momenta L, as well as spin-orbit couplings L⊗S in the target. All four types of responses can excite phonons, while couplings to electron’s S and L can also excite magnons. We apply the effective field theory approach to a set of well-motivated relativistic benchmark models, including (pseudo) scalar mediated interactions, and models where dark matter interacts via a multipole moment, such as a dark electric dipole, magnetic dipole or anapole moment. We find that couplings to pointlike degrees of freedom N and S often dominate dark matter detection rates, implying that exotic materials with orbital L order or large spin-orbit couplings L⊗S are not necessary to have strong reach to a broad class of DM models. We highlight that phonon based crystal experiments in active R&D (such as SPICE) will probe light dark matter models well beyond those having a simple spin-independent interaction, including e.g., models with dipole and anapole interactions. Lastly, we make publicly available a code, PhonoDark, which computes single phonon production rates in a wide variety of materials with the effective field theory framework.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Trickle, Tanner0000-0003-1371-4988
Zhang, Zhengkang0000-0001-8305-5581
Zurek, Kathryn M.0000-0002-2629-337X
Additional Information:© 2022 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. Received 19 October 2021; accepted 14 December 2021; published 4 January 2022. We thank Jason Alicea, Sinéad Griffin, Thomas Harrelson, David Hsieh, Katherine Inzani, Chunxiao Liu, Andrea Mitridate, and Mengxing Ye for useful discussions. Special thanks to Andrea Mitridate for discussions and collaboration on related work that helped clarify the treatment of in-medium effects. This work is supported by the Quantum Information Science Enabled Discovery (QuantISED) for High Energy Physics (KA2401032). Z. Z. is also supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-SC0011702.
Group:Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Quantum Information Science Enabled Discovery for High Energy PhysicsKA2401032
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0011702
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200930-101234003
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105668
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:30 Sep 2020 17:18
Last Modified:22 Jan 2022 00:11

Repository Staff Only: item control page