We show that the high-energy cosmic neutrinos seen by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory can be used to probe interactions between neutrinos and the dark sector that cannot be reached by current cosmological probes. The origin of the observed neutrinos is still unknown, and their arrival directions are compatible with an isotropic distribution. This observation, together with dedicated studies of Galactic plane correlations, suggest a predominantly extragalactic origin. Interactions between this isotropic extragalactic flux and the dense dark matter (DM) bulge of the Milky Way would thus lead to an observable imprint on the distribution, which would be seen by IceCube as 1) slightly suppressed fluxes at energies below a PeV and 2) a deficit of events in the direction of the Galactic center. We perform an extended unbinned likelihood analysis using the four-year high-energy starting event dataset to constrain the strength of DM-neutrino interactions for two model classes. We find that, in spite of low statistics, IceCube can probe regions of the parameter space inaccessible to current cosmological methods.
C. Arguelles, A. Kheirandish and A. Vincent
Fri, 3 Mar 17
Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures