Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dark Matter Annihilation?


The physicists are getting all excited by the hints from PAMELA and ATIC of an excess in the electron cosmic ray spectrum at around 620 GeV - could this be a signal of dark matter (WIMPs) interacting with itself and annihilating?

Dennis Overbye has a nice article in yesterdays NYT suitable for a general readership ("A Whisper, Perhaps, From the Universe's Dark Side"). Yousaf Butt wrote the Nature "News and Views" article that serves as a good introduction or perspective on the Chang et al (2008, Nature, 456, 362, "An excess of cosmic ray electrons at energies of 300–800 GeV" article that has kick started the media interest.

[Image is Figure 2 from the Chang et al paper, accessible with caption here as long as you have a Nature subscription]

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