Enhancing dark matter annihilation rates with dark bremsstrahlung
AbstractMany dark matter interaction types lead to annihilation processes which suffer from p-wave suppression or helicity suppression, rendering them subdominant to unsuppressed s-wave processes. We demonstrate that the natural inclusion of dark initial state radiation can open an unsuppressed s-wave annihilation channel and, thus, provide the dominant dark matter annihilation process for particular interaction types. We illustrate this effect with the bremsstrahlung of a dark spin-0 or dark spin-1 particle from fermionic dark matter, χ¯χ→f¯fϕ or f¯fZ′. The dark initial state radiation process, despite having a 3-body final state, proceeds at the same order in the new physics scale Λ as the annihilation to the 2-body final state χ¯χ→f¯f. This opens an unsuppressed s wave at lower order in Λ than the well-studied lifting of helicity suppression via Standard Model final state radiation or virtual internal bremsstrahlung. This dark bremsstrahlung process should influence LHC and indirect detection searches for dark matter.