Positron line radiation as a signature of particle dark matter in the halo

Michael S. Turner, Frank Wilczek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


We suggest a new signature for particle dark-matter annihilation in the halo: high-energy, positron line radiation. Because the cosmic-ray positron spectrum falls rapidly with energy and the contribution of conventional sources is only expected to be about 5% of the cosmic-ray electron flux, monoenergetic e+s from halo annihilations can be a significant and distinctive signal for very massive dark-matter particles (masses greater than about 30 GeV). If the e+e- annihilation channel has an appreciable branch a few percent or more the e+ signal could be observable in a future detector, such as have been proposed for ASTROMAG. A significant e+e- branching ratio can occur for neutralinos or Dirac neutrinos. In spite of the fact that a heavy Dirac neutrino is no longer an attractive dark-matter candidate and the fact that the e+e- branching ratios expected for the currently popular models of the neutralino are very small, the positron signature is so distinctive that we believe it is worthy of note: If seen, it is a smoking gun for particle dark matter in the halo. We also note that the positron signature will be of general importance for any future particle dark-matter candidate whose annihilation into e+e- is not suppressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1007
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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