Migdal effect and photon bremsstrahlung in effective field theories of dark matter direct detection and coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering
Bell, Nicole F.
Dent, James B.
Newstead, Jayden L.
Weiler, Thomas J.
Dark matter direct detection experiments have limited sensitivity to light dark matter (below a few GeV), due to the challenges of lowering energy thresholds for the detection of nuclear recoil to below O(keV). While impressive progress has been made on this front, light dark matter remains the least constrained region of dark-matter parameter space. It has been shown that both ionization and excitation due to the Migdal effect arid coherently emitted photon bremsstrahlung from the recoiling atom can provide observable channels for light dark matter that would otherwise have been missed owing to the resulting nuclear recoil falling below the detector threshold. In this paper we extend previous work by calculating the Migdal effect and photon bremsstrahlung rates for a general set of interaction types, including those that are momentum independent or dependent, spin independent or dependent, as well as examining the rates for a variety of target materials, allowing us to place new experimental limits on some of these interaction types. Additionally, we include a calculation of these effects induced by the coherent scattering on nuclei of solar or atmospheric neutrinos. We demonstrate that the Migdal effect dominates over the bremsstrahlung effect for all targets considered for interactions induced by either dark matter or neutrinos. This reduces photon bremsstrahlung to irrelevancy for future direct detection experiments