Universal behavior in the scattering of heavy, weakly interacting dark matter on nuclear targets

Richard J. Hill, Mikhail P. Solon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Particles that are heavy compared to the electroweak scale (M≫m W), and that are charged under electroweak SU(2) gauge interactions display universal properties such as a characteristic fine structure in the mass spectrum induced by electroweak symmetry breaking, and an approximately universal cross section for scattering on nuclear targets. The heavy particle effective theory framework is developed to compute these properties. As illustration, the spin independent cross section for low-velocity scattering on a nucleon is evaluated in the limit M≫m W, including complete leading-order matching onto quark and gluon operators, renormalization analysis, and systematic treatment of perturbative and hadronic-input uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-545
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 7 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge discussions with Y. Bai, G. Paz and J. Zupan. Work supported by NSF Grant 0855039 .


  • Dark matter
  • Effective field theory
  • Renormalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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