Faint light from dark matter: classifying and constraining dark matter-photon effective operators

  • Bradley J. Kavanagh
  • Paolo PanciEmail author
  • Robert Ziegler
Open Access
Regular Article - Theoretical Physics


Even if Dark Matter (DM) is neutral under electromagnetism, it can still interact with the Standard Model (SM) via photon exchange from higher-dimensional operators. Here we classify the general effective operators coupling DM to photons, distinguishing between Dirac/Majorana fermion and complex/real scalar DM. We provide model-independent constraints on these operators from direct and indirect detection. We also constrain various DM-lepton operators, which induce DM-photon interactions via RG running or which typically arise in sensible UV-completions. This provides a simple way to quickly assess constraints on any DM model that interacts mainly via photon exchange or couples to SM leptons.


Beyond Standard Model Effective Field Theories 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradley J. Kavanagh
    • 1
  • Paolo Panci
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Robert Ziegler
    • 2
  1. 1.GRAPPA, Institute of PhysicsUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Theory Division, CERNGeneva 23Switzerland
  3. 3.Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (INFN-LNGS)AssergiItaly

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