The search for dark matter through indirect detection remains a promising avenue to decipher the nature of this elusive yet dominant component of matter in the universe. Dark-matter particles produced in the early universe annihilate or decay to a set of Standard-Model particles that can undergo complex sequences of processes, including strong and electromagnetic radiation, hadronization, and hadron decays, to produce stable particles. Antiprotons produced in this way may leave footprints in experiments such as AMS-02. Several groups have reported an excess of events in the antiproton flux in the rigidity range of $10$-$20$ GV. However, the theoretical modeling of baryon production is not straightforward and relies in part on phenomenological models in Monte Carlo event generators. The associated theoretical uncertainties have so far not been systematically quantified in this context. In this Letter we assess the impact of QCD uncertainties on the spectra of antiprotons from dark-matter annihilation. As a proof-of-principle, we show that within a Supersymmetric scenario these uncertainties can be as large as the experimental errors of the AMS-02 data in the region of the excess.
- Pub Date:
- February 2022
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- v1: 4 pages + references, 2 figures. Spectra with QCD uncertainties can be found in https://github.com/ajueid/qcd-dm.github.io.git