PAMELA satellite data as a signal of non-thermal wino LSP dark matter

Gordon Kane, Ran Lu, Scott Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We argue there is a very well motivated theoretical framework (which existed before data) consistent with the interpretation that dark matter annihilation is being observed by the PAMELA satellite detector. The dark matter is (mainly) the neutral W boson superpartner, the wino. Using the program GALPROP extensively we study the annihilation products and the backgrounds together. A wino mass approximately in the 180200 GeV range gives a good description of the PAMELA data, with antimatter and gammas from annihilating winos contributing or dominating the data below this energy range but not contributing above it. We explain why PAMELA data does not imply no antiproton signal was observed by PAMELA or earlier experiments, and explain why the antiproton analysis was misunderstood by earlier papers. Normalizing the wino density to the local relic density, no "boost factors" are needed. At higher energies we expect astrophysical mechanisms to contribute, and we simply parameterize them, and check that the combination can describe all the data. We emphasize several predictions for satellite data to test the wino interpretation, particularly the flattening or turndown of the positron and antiproton spectra above 100 GeV, and predictions for the Fermi detector. We emphasize that interpretations also depend very strongly on assumptions about the cosmological history of the universe, and that it is crucial to have independent criteria to define the background for any given process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-86
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 21 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Dark matter
  • Indirect detection
  • Super symmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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