- Dark-matter bound states from Feynman diagrams
- The Journal of High Energy Physics
- Volume | Issue number
- 2016 | 06
- Article number
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for High Energy Physics (IHEF)
If dark matter couples directly to a light force mediator, then it may form bound states in the early universe and in the non-relativistic environment of haloes today. In this work, we establish a field-theoretic framework for the computation of bound-state formation cross-sections, de-excitation and decay rates, in theories with long-range interactions. Using this formalism, we carry out specific computations for scalar particles interacting either via a light scalar or vector mediator. At low relative velocities of the interacting particles, the formation of bound states is enhanced by the Sommerfeld effect. For particle-antiparticle pairs, we show that bound-state formation can be faster than annihilation into radiation in the regime where the Sommerfeld effect is important. The field-theoretic formalism outlined here can be generalised to compute bound-state formation cross-sections in a variety of theories, including theories featuring non-Abelian (albeit non-confining) interactions, such as the electroweak interactions.
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