Continuum-mediated self-interacting dark matter
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Dark matter may self-interact through a continuum of low-mass states. This happens if dark matter couples to a strongly-coupled nearly-conformal hidden sector. This type of theory is holographically described by brane-localized dark matter interacting with bulk fields in a slice of 5D anti-de Sitter space. The long-range potential in this scenario depends on a non-integer power of the spatial separation, in contrast to the Yukawa potential generated by the exchange of a single 4D mediator. The resulting self-interaction cross section scales like a non-integer power of velocity. We identify the Born, classical and resonant regimes and investigate them using state-of-the-art numerical methods. We demonstrate the viability of our continuum-mediated framework to address the astrophysical small-scale structure anomalies. Investigating the continuum-mediated Sommerfeld enhancement, we demonstrate that a pattern of resonances can occur depending on the non-integer power. We conclude that continuum mediators introduce novel power-law scalings which open new possibilities for dark matter self-interaction phenomenology.