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Title: Search for Stable Strange Quark Matter in Lunar Soil

Abstract

We report results from a search for strangelets (small chunks of strange quark matter) in lunar soil using the Yale WNSL accelerator as a mass spectrometer. We have searched over a range in mass from A=42 to A=70 amu for nuclear charges 5, 6, 8, 9, and 11. No strangelets were found in the experiment. For strangelets with nuclear charge 8, a concentration in lunar soil higher than 10{sup -16} is excluded at the 95% confidence level. The implied limit on the strangelet flux in cosmic rays is the most sensitive to date for the covered range and is relevant to both recent theoretical flux predictions and a strangelet candidate event found by the AMS-01 experiment.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;  [1]; ;  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Physics Department, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520 (United States)
  2. A. W. Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520 (United States)
  3. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark)
  4. Laboratory for Nuclear Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21364647
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Review Letters; Journal Volume: 103; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.092302; (c) 2009 The American Physical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ATOMIC NUMBER; COSMIC RADIATION; LUNAR MATERIALS; MASS SPECTROMETERS; MOON; QUARK MATTER; S QUARKS; SOILS; ELEMENTARY PARTICLES; FERMIONS; IONIZING RADIATIONS; MATERIALS; MATTER; MEASURING INSTRUMENTS; QUARKS; RADIATIONS; SATELLITES; SPECTROMETERS; STRANGE PARTICLES

Citation Formats

Han, K., Chikanian, A., Emmet, W., Finch, L. E., Majka, R. D., Sandweiss, J., Ashenfelter, J., Heinz, A., Madsen, J., and Monreal, B.. Search for Stable Strange Quark Matter in Lunar Soil. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.103.092302.
Han, K., Chikanian, A., Emmet, W., Finch, L. E., Majka, R. D., Sandweiss, J., Ashenfelter, J., Heinz, A., Madsen, J., & Monreal, B.. Search for Stable Strange Quark Matter in Lunar Soil. United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.103.092302.
Han, K., Chikanian, A., Emmet, W., Finch, L. E., Majka, R. D., Sandweiss, J., Ashenfelter, J., Heinz, A., Madsen, J., and Monreal, B.. 2009. "Search for Stable Strange Quark Matter in Lunar Soil". United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.103.092302.
@article{osti_21364647,
title = {Search for Stable Strange Quark Matter in Lunar Soil},
author = {Han, K. and Chikanian, A. and Emmet, W. and Finch, L. E. and Majka, R. D. and Sandweiss, J. and Ashenfelter, J. and Heinz, A. and Madsen, J. and Monreal, B.},
abstractNote = {We report results from a search for strangelets (small chunks of strange quark matter) in lunar soil using the Yale WNSL accelerator as a mass spectrometer. We have searched over a range in mass from A=42 to A=70 amu for nuclear charges 5, 6, 8, 9, and 11. No strangelets were found in the experiment. For strangelets with nuclear charge 8, a concentration in lunar soil higher than 10{sup -16} is excluded at the 95% confidence level. The implied limit on the strangelet flux in cosmic rays is the most sensitive to date for the covered range and is relevant to both recent theoretical flux predictions and a strangelet candidate event found by the AMS-01 experiment.},
doi = {10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.103.092302},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 9,
volume = 103,
place = {United States},
year = 2009,
month = 8
}
  • Witten pointed out the enormous astrophysical and cosmological significance of strange quark matter (SQM) made up of roughly equal numbers of up, down, and strange quarks. Here we briefly discuss {ital related} implications of stable SQM for large binding energy in four areas of {ital considerable} interest: (i) The origin of gamma ray bursters (GRBs); (ii) Production of SQM drops in present relativistic, heavy-ion fixed target experiments at BNL and CERN; (iii) Enormous technological implications; (iv) Scientific implications. {copyright} 1995 {ital American} {ital Institute} {ital of} {ital Physics}.
  • We present results of a search for neutral strange quark matter (strangelets) in 11.6A GeV/c Au+Pb reactions from the 1995 run of experiment E864 at the Brookhaven Alternating Gradient Synchrotron. We have sampled approximately 1.3 billion 10{percent} most central Au+Pb interactions and have observed no statistically significant signal for neutral strangelet states with baryon number in the range 6{lt}A{lt}100. We set upper limits on the production of these exotic states at the level of 8{times}10{sup {minus}8} per central collision for mass {gt}20 GeV/c{sup 2}. These limits are the first limits reported on the production of heavy neutral strangelets. They complementmore » searches for positively and negatively charged strangelets also conducted by our collaboration. We discuss the implications of these results on strangelet production mechanisms and the stability of strange quark matter. {copyright} {ital 1999} {ital The American Physical Society}« less
  • We present results of a search for strange quark matter (strangelets) in 11.5A GeV /c Au+Pb collisions from the 1994 and 1995 runs of experiment E864 at Brookhaven{close_quote}s Alternating Gradient Synchrotron. We observe no strangelet candidates and set a 90{percent} confidence level upper limit of approximately 3{times}10{sup {minus}8} per 10{percent} central interaction for the production of {vert_bar}Z{vert_bar}=1 and {vert_bar}Z{vert_bar}=2 strangelets over a large mass range and with metastable lifetimes of about 50ns or more. These results place constraints primarily on quark-gluon plasma based production models for strangelets. {copyright} {ital 1997} {ital The American Physical Society}
  • The E864 experiment at the AGS uses a large acceptance spectrometer in sensitive searches for strange quark matter (strangelets) produced in the collision of 11.6 A GeV/c Au beams with Pb or Pt targets. Such heavy ion collisions may provide conditions favorable to strangelet formation due to the high baryon density and strange quark content of the fireball formed in the collision. Strangelets could be formed by coalescence or formation of a quark-gluon plasma droplet that could evolve into a strangelet. The results of searches for strangelets with Z={plus_minus}1 and Z={plus_minus}2 using the 1994 and 1995 data sets are presentedmore » and plans are discussed for searches for positive, negative and neutral strangelets using the larger data set taken in 1996-7. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}« less
  • We present the results of a search for strange quark matter from central 11.6 A GeV/c Au+Pb collisions in experiment E864 at the BNL-AGS. Nearly 6 billion central interactions have been sampled during the 1995 run search for positively and negatively charged, as well as neutral strangelets. The search was conducted with a high mass trigger system. It has the best and most model independent sensitivity at AGS energies and currently provides the best strangelet production upper limits. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}