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Neutrino experiments probe hadrophilic light dark matter

by Yohei Ema, Filippo Sala, Ryosuke Sato

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Submission summary

As Contributors: Yohei Ema · Filippo Sala
Arxiv Link: (pdf)
Date accepted: 2021-03-15
Date submitted: 2021-03-05 14:15
Submitted by: Ema, Yohei
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Academic field: Physics
  • High-Energy Physics - Phenomenology
Approach: Phenomenological


We use Super-K data to place new strong limits on interactions of sub-GeV Dark Matter (DM) with nuclei, that rely on the DM flux inevitably induced by cosmic-ray upscatterings. We derive analogous sensitivities at Hyper-K and DUNE and compare them with others, e.g. at JUNO. Using simplified models, we find that our proposal tests genuinely new parameter space, allowed both by theoretical consistency and by other direct detection experiments, cosmology, meson decays and our recast of monojet. Our results thus motivate and shape a new physics case for any large volume detector sensitive to nuclear recoils.

Published as SciPost Phys. 10, 072 (2021)

List of changes

Dear Editor,

We thank the referees for the positive reports and for the constructive comments and suggestions, which we think allowed to improve the clarity and comprehensiveness of the paper. Please find below our response and a summary of the changes in our revised version of the manuscript.

1) We have performed again our analysis, now using the world-average value Lambda_a = 1.03 GeV instead of \Lambda_a = 1.3 GeV (which was motivated by MiniBooNE and also by recent lattice results). We find the world-average choice worsens our limits by order ten percent, see the Figures attached in the field of Reply to Report 2. We have added two comments on this in the main text, one at page 6 below eq.~(16) and one at page 14, just before the last paragraph of Section 3.3.

2) We agree with the referee and have anticipated, at page 3 just after Eq. (2), that either DM is asymmetric or CMB favours the scalar mediator model.

3) We thank the referee for the comment, we have now evaluated the Borexino constraints following 1810.10543, i.e. we took Np = 3.2e31, t = 1.282 yrs and required that the events should be smaller than 2.44 in the range 12.5 MeV < Ke < 15 MeV, corresponding to 21.6 MeV < Kp < 24.9 MeV (the latter is according to our computation of the conversion). We find the results displayed in the Figures attached in the field of Reply to Report 2: Borexino is always slightly weaker than KamLAND. We thus refrain from adding yet another line to our already busy plots, and we have added a discussion in the main text, see the new text at page 12 before the paragraph `Discussion'.

4) We thank the referee for pointing out the NA62 measurement, we were not aware of it. At page 18 we have added the appropriate reference, updated the BR limit and the resulting constraint on the couplings in Eq. (45).

We hope to have satisfactorily addressed all the comments raised by the referees and that the paper is now suitable for publication.


Yohei Ema, Filippo Sala and Ryosuke Sato

Reports on this Submission

Anonymous Report 1 on 2021-3-5 (Invited Report)

  • Cite as: Anonymous, Report on arXiv:2011.01939v2, delivered 2021-03-05, doi: 10.21468/SciPost.Report.2655


Technical analysis
Use of a comprehensive list of experimental input
Novel constraints


Dear editor and authors,

the authors have successfully addressed all my comments and initial concerns. I recommend the paper be published in its current version.

I have also compared v1 to v2, and verified the new changes are clear and that they indeed improve the manuscript.

  • validity: high
  • significance: good
  • originality: good
  • clarity: high
  • formatting: good
  • grammar: excellent

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