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Laboratory measurements compellingly support a charge-exchange mechanism for the "dark matter" ~3.5 keV X-ray line

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Shah,  Chintan
Division Prof. Dr. Thomas Pfeifer, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Dobrodey,  Stepan
Division Prof. Dr. Thomas Pfeifer, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Bernitt,  Sven
Division Prof. Dr. Thomas Pfeifer, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Steinbrügge,  René Friedrich
Division Prof. Dr. Thomas Pfeifer, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Crespo López-Urrutia,  José R.
Division Prof. Dr. Thomas Pfeifer, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Shah, C., Dobrodey, S., Bernitt, S., Steinbrügge, R. F., Crespo López-Urrutia, J. R., Gu, L., et al. (2016). Laboratory measurements compellingly support a charge-exchange mechanism for the "dark matter" ~3.5 keV X-ray line. The Astronomical Journal, 833(1): 52. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/833/1/52.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-25AA-4
Abstract
The reported observations of an unidentified X-ray line feature at ~3.5 keV have driven a lively discussion about its possible dark matter origin. Motivated by this, we have measured the K-shell X-ray spectra of highly ionized bare sulfur ions following charge exchange with gaseous molecules in an electron beam ion trap, as a source of or a contributor to this X-ray line. We produced S16+ and S15+ ions and let them capture electrons in collision with those molecules with the electron beam turned off while recording X-ray spectra. We observed a charge-exchange-induced X-ray feature at the Lyman series limit (3.47 ± 0.06 keV). The inferred X-ray energy is in full agreement with the reported astrophysical observations and supports the novel scenario proposed by Gu et al.