Soft collinear effective theory for heavy WIMP annihilation

Martin Bauer, Timothy Cohen, Richard J. Hill, Mikhail P. Solon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Abstract: In a large class of models for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), the WIMP mass M lies far above the weak scale mW. This work identifies universal Sudakov-type logarithms ∼ α log2(2 M/mW) that spoil the naive convergence of perturbation theory for annihilation processes. An effective field theory (EFT) framework is presented, allowing the systematic resummation of these logarithms. Another impact of the large separation of scales is that a long-distance wavefunction distortion from electroweak boson exchange leads to observable modifications of the cross section. Careful accounting of momentum regions in the EFT allows the rigorous disentanglement of this so-called Sommerfeld enhancement from the short-distance hard annihilation process. The WIMP is described as a heavy-particle field, while the electroweak gauge bosons are treated as soft and collinear fields. Hard matching coefficients are computed at renormalization scale μ ∼ 2 M , then evolved down to μ ∼ mW , where electroweak symmetry breaking is incorporated and the matching onto the relevant quantum mechanical Hamiltonian is performed. The example of an SU(2)W triplet scalar dark matter candidate annihilating to line photons is used for concreteness, allowing the numerical exploration of the impact of next-to-leading order corrections and log resummation. For M ≃ 3 TeV, the resummed Sommerfeld enhanced cross section is reduced by a factor of ∼ 3 with respect to the treelevel fixed order result.

Original languageEnglish
Article number99
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, The Author(s).


  • Beyond Standard Model
  • Cosmology of Theories beyond the SM
  • Effective field theories
  • Resummation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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