Cosmic rays suggest dark matter is a self-annihilating WIMP

From Ars Technica

Enlarge / AMS aboard the International Space Station.

What happens when two dark matter particles collide? We don’t know the answer to that question because we don’t know what dark matter is. A whole host of possible particles could constitute dark matter, and some of them allow dark matter to “self-interact.” Here, when two dark matter particles collide, they would decay into other particles that we could potentially observe. This should happen often in regions of the Universe densely populated with dark matter, and it’s possible that some of the resulting particles are bombarding us all the time—we just don’t know their origin.

Our atmosphere is constantly bombarded by particles from space of varying kinds, collectively known as cosmic rays. Cosmic rays come from sources such as supernovae and active galactic nuclei (exceptionally bright cores of galaxies). Could some of them also come from collisions of dark matter particles? Sorting…

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