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Gamma-ray Spectra due to Cosmic-ray Interactions with Dense Gas Clouds

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Published Article
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DOI: 10.1086/421732
arXiv ID: astro-ph/0403138
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arXiv
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Abstract

Gamma-ray spectra from cosmic-ray proton and electron interactions with dense gas clouds have been calculated using a Monte Carlo event simulation code, GEANT4. Such clouds are postulated as a possible form of baryonic dark matter in the Universe. The simulation fully tracks the cascade and transport processes that are important in a dense medium, and the resulting gamma-ray spectra are computed as a function of cloud column-density. These calculations are used for predicting the Galactic diffuse gamma-ray spectrum that may be contributed by baryonic dark matter; the results are compared with data from the EGRET instrument, and used to constrain the fraction of Galactic dark matter that may be in the form of dense gas clouds. In agreement with previous authors, we find useful constraints on the fraction of Galactic dark matter that may be in the form of low column-density clouds ($\Sigma \la 10 g cm^{-2}$). However, this fraction rises steeply in the region $\Sigma \sim 10^2 g cm^{-2}$, and for $\Sigma \ga 200 g cm^{-2}$ we find that baryonic dark matter models are virtually unconstrained by the existing gamma-ray data.

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