Is the PAMELA positron excess winos?

Phill Grajek, Gordon L. Kane, Daniel J. Phalen, Aaron Pierce, Scott Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Recently the PAMELA satellite-based experiment reported an excess of galactic positrons that could be a signal of annihilating dark matter. The PAMELA data may admit an interpretation as a signal from a winolike lightest supersymmetric particle of mass about 200 GeV, normalized to the local relic density, and annihilating mainly into W bosons. This possibility requires the current conventional estimate for the energy loss rate of positrons to be too large by roughly a factor of 5. Data from antiprotons and gamma rays also provide tension with this interpretation, but there are significant astrophysical uncertainties associated with their propagation. It is not unreasonable to take this well-motivated candidate seriously, at present, in part because it can be tested in several ways soon. The forthcoming PAMELA data on higher energy positrons and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (formerly the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope) data should provide important clues as to whether this scenario is correct. If correct, the wino interpretation implies a cosmological history in which the dark matter does not originate in thermal equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043506
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 5 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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