Probing Earth-Bound Dark Matter with Nuclear Reactors


Probing Earth-Bound Dark Matter with Nuclear Reactors

Yohei Ema, Maxim Pospelov, Anupam Ray.


Strongly-interacting dark matter can be accumulated in large quantities inside the Earth, and for dark matter particles in a few GeV mass range, it can exist in large quantities near the Earth’s surface. We investigate the constraints imposed on such dark matter properties by its upscattering by fast neutrons in nuclear reactors with subsequent scattering in nearby well-shielded dark matter detectors, schemes which are already used for searches of the coherent reactor neutrino scattering. We find that the existing experiments cover new parameter space on the spin-dependent interaction between dark matter and the nucleon. Similar experiments performed with research reactors, and lesser amount of shielding, may provide additional sensitivity to strongly-interacting dark matter.

Associated Fellows