The experiment of Krasznahorkay et al. observed the transition of a 8Be excited state to its ground state and accompanied by an emission of an e+e- pair with 17 MeV invariant mass. This 6.8σ anomaly can be fitted by a new light gauge boson. We consider the new particle as a U(1) gauge boson, Z′, which plays as a portal linking dark sector and visible sector. In particular, we study the new U(1) gauge symmetry as a hidden or nonhidden group separately. The generic hidden U(1) model, referred to as dark Z model, is excluded by imposing various experimental constraints. On the other hand, a nonhidden Z′ is allowed due to the additional interactions between Z′ and Standard Model fermions. We also study the implication of the dark matter direct search on such a scenario. We found that the search for the DM-nucleon scattering cannot probe the parameter space that is allowed by 8Be-anomaly for the range of DM mass above 500 MeV. However, the DM-electron scattering for DM between 20 MeV and 50 MeV can test the underlying U(1) portal model using the future Si and Ge detectors with the 5e- threshold charges.
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