Diverse astrophysical observations suggest the existence of cold dark matter that interacts only gravitationally with radiation and ordinary baryonic matter. Any nonzero coupling between dark matter and baryons would provide a significant step towards understanding the particle nature of dark matter. Measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) provide constraints on such a coupling that complement laboratory searches. In this work we place upper limits on a variety of models for dark matter elastic scattering with protons and electrons by combining large-scale CMB data from the Planck satellite with small-scale information from Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) DR4 data. In the case of velocity-independent scattering, we obtain bounds on the interaction cross section for protons that are 40% tighter than previous constraints from the CMB anisotropy. For some models with velocity-dependent scattering we find best-fitting cross sections with a 2σ deviation from zero, but these scattering models are not statistically preferred over ΛCDM in terms of model selection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- CMBR experiments
- cosmological perturbation theory
- dark matter theory