Dark matter, light mediators, and the neutrino floor
Additional Document Info
2017 American Physical Society. We analyze direct dark matter detection experiments for 100 MeV mass mediators with general interactions. We compare the nuclear recoil energy spectra from these interactions to the solar neutrino spectrum. A set of interactions that generate spectra similar to the neutrino background is identified; however, this set is distinct from those that mimic the neutrino background for 100 MeV mass mediators. We outline a classification scheme based on momentum dependence of the dark matter-nucleus interaction to determine how strong the discovery limit for each interaction saturates due to the neutrino background. Our results motivate experimental progress towards lower nuclear recoil energy thresholds.