Constraining bosonic asymmetric dark matter with neutron star mass-radius measurements

5 Aug 2022  ·  Nathan Rutherford, Geert Raaijmakers, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Anna Watts ·

Neutron stars can capture asymmetric dark matter (ADM), which affects the neutron star's measurable properties and makes compact objects prime targets to search for ADM. In this work, we use Bayesian inference to explore potential neutron star mass-radius measurements, from current and future X-ray telescopes, to constrain the bosonic ADM parameters for the case where bosonic ADM has accumulated in the neutron star interior. We find that the high bosonic ADM particle mass ($m_\chi$) and low effective self-interaction strength ($g_\chi/m_\phi)$ regime is disfavored due to the observationally and theoretically motivated constraint that neutron stars must have at least a mass of $1 \, \mathrm{M_\odot}$. However, within the remaining parameter space, $m_\chi$ and $g_\chi/m_\phi$ are individually unconstrained. On the other hand, the ADM mass-fraction, i.e., the fraction of ADM mass inside the neutron star, can be constrained by such neutron star measurements. The inclusion of bosonic ADM in neutron star cores also relaxes the constraints on the baryonic equation of state space and suggests that ADM should be taken into account when interpreting constraints from mass-radius measurements.

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena High Energy Physics - Phenomenology Nuclear Theory