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Physics  2009 

Limits on Threshold and "Sommerfeld" Enhancements in Dark Matter Annihilation

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.81.056002

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We find model-independent upper limits on rates of dark matter annihilation in galactic halos. The Born approximation generally fails, while exotic threshold enhancements akin to "Sommerfeld factors" also turn out to be baseless The most efficient annihilation mechanism involves perturbatively small decay widths that have largely been ignored. Widths that are very small compared to TeV mass scales suffice to effectively saturate unitarity bounds on annihilation rates. Bound state formation in weakly coupled theories produces small effects due to wave function normalizations. Unitarity shows the Sommerfeld factor cannot produce large changes in cross sections, and serves to identify where those approximations break down.


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