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Published February 2023 | Published
Journal Article Open

Astrophysical observations of a dark matter-Baryon fifth force


We consider the effects of an attractive, long-range Yukawa interaction between baryons and dark matter (DM), focusing in particular on temperature and pulsar timing observations of neutron stars (NSs). We show that such a fifth force, with strength modestly stronger than gravity at ranges greater than tens of kilometers (corresponding to mediator masses less than 10-11eV), can dramatically enhance dark matter kinetic heating, capture, and pulsar timing Doppler shifts relative to gravity plus short range interactions alone. Using the coldest observed NS and pulsar timing array (PTA) data, we derive limits on fifth force strength over a DM mass range spanning light dark matter up to order solar mass composite DM objects. We also consider an indirect limit by combining bullet cluster limits on the DM self-interaction with weak equivalence principle test limits on baryonic self-interactions. We find the combined indirect limits are moderately stronger than kinetic heating and PTA limits, except when considering a DM subcomponent.

Additional Information

© 2023 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab. We thank Stephen Taylor and the NANOGrav collaboration for providing valuable guidance in deriving the PTA constraints. Some of this work was performed at the Aspen Center for Physics, which is supported by National Science Foundation grant PHY-1607611. MG's work was also supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1719780. The work of VL and KZ is supported by the DoE under contract DE-SC0011632, and by a Simons Investigator award. This work is also supported by the Walker Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Attached Files

Published - Gresham_2023_J._Cosmol._Astropart._Phys._2023_048.pdf


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Additional details

August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023