Weekly seminars

Dark Heating of Neutron Stars (remote talk)

by Aniket Joglekar (LAPTh)


Dark matter passing through neutron stars scatters with the densely packed particles and can become gravitationally bound to the star. The resultant deposition of kinetic energy can heat up the star. This process can make old and cold neutron stars detectable to upcoming infrared telescopes such as James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In the light of this possibility, it is important to study what type of dark matter will be able to generate sufficient heating. In this talk I briefly overview the recent interest generated in these studies. I will particularly focus on the electrons in the core of neutron star. Electron targets are interesting because, in addition to being highly degenerate they can be ultrarelativistic as well. Our calculation finds the capture by electrons to be highly sensitive to leptophilic dark matter, when compared to terrestrial direct detection experiments. I will also discuss the general anatomy of kinetic heating projected bounds in the space of dark matter mass and contact operator cut-off scale.