We have performed an analysis of the diffuse gamma-ray emission with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) in the Milky Way halo region, searching for a signal from dark matter annihilation or decay. In the absence of a robust dark matter signal, constraints are presented. We consider both gamma rays produced directly in the dark matter annihilation/decay and produced by inverse Compton scattering of the e+/e- produced in the annihilation/decay. Conservative limits are derived requiring that the dark matter signal does not exceed the observed diffuse gamma-ray emission. A second set of more stringent limits is derived based on modeling the foreground astrophysical diffuse emission using the GALPROP code. Uncertainties in the height of the diffusive cosmic-ray halo, the distribution of the cosmic-ray sources in the Galaxy, the index of the injection cosmic-ray electron spectrum, and the column density of the interstellar gas are taken into account using a profile likelihood formalism, while the parameters governing the cosmic-ray propagation have been derived from fits to local cosmic-ray data. The resulting limits impact the range of particle masses over which dark matter thermal production in the early universe is possible, and challenge the interpretation of the PAMELA/Fermi-LAT cosmic ray anomalies as the annihilation of dark matter. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
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