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Strong New Limits on Light Dark Matter from Neutrino Experiments


The non-detection of GeV-scale WIMPs has led to increased interest in more general candidates, including sub-GeV dark matter. Direct detection experiments, despite their high sensitivity to WIMPs, are largely blind to sub-GeV dark matter. Recent work has shown that cosmic-ray elastic scattering with sub-GeV dark matter would both alter the observed cosmic ray spectra and produce a flux of relativistic dark matter, which would be detectable with traditional dark matter experiments as well as larger, higher-threshold detectors for neutrinos. Using data, detectors, and analysis techniques not previously considered, we substantially increase the regions of parameter space excluded by neutrino experiments for both dark matter-nucleon and dark matter-electron elastic scattering. We also show how to further improve sensitivity to light dark matter.