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Title: The direct detection of boosted dark matter at high energies and PeV events at IceCube

Abstract

We study the possibility of detecting dark matter directly via a small but energetic component that is allowed within present-day constraints. Drawing closely upon the fact that neutral current neutrino nucleon interactions are indistinguishable from DM-nucleon interactions at low energies, we extend this feature to high energies for a small, non-thermal but highly energetic population of DM particle χ, created via the decay of a significantly more massive and long-lived non-thermal relic ϕ, which forms the bulk of DM. If χ interacts with nucleons, its cross-section, like the neutrino-nucleus coherent cross-section, can rise sharply with energy leading to deep inelastic scattering, similar to neutral current neutrino-nucleon interactions at high energies. Thus, its direct detection may be possible via cascades in very large neutrino detectors. As a specific example, we apply this notion to the recently reported three ultra-high energy PeV cascade events clustered around 1−2 PeV at IceCube (IC). We discuss the features which may help discriminate this scenario from one in which only astrophysical neutrinos constitute the event sample in detectors like IC.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [2]
  1. Dept. of Physics, University of Arizona, 1118 E. Fourth Street, Tucson, AZ 85704 (United States)
  2. Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Chhatnag Road, Jhunsi, Allahabad-211019 (India)
  3. (United States)
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
SCOAP3, CERN, Geneva (Switzerland)
OSTI Identifier:
22454526
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; Journal Volume: 2015; Journal Issue: 03; Other Information: PUBLISHER-ID: JCAP03(2015)027; OAI: oai:repo.scoap3.org:9573; Article funded by SCOAP3. Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; COSMIC NEUTRINOS; CROSS SECTIONS; DEEP INELASTIC SCATTERING; DETECTION; NEUTRAL CURRENTS; NEUTRINO-NUCLEON INTERACTIONS; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; PEV RANGE; RELICT RADIATION

Citation Formats

Bhattacharya, A., Gandhi, R., Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510, and Gupta, A. The direct detection of boosted dark matter at high energies and PeV events at IceCube. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2015/03/027.
Bhattacharya, A., Gandhi, R., Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510, & Gupta, A. The direct detection of boosted dark matter at high energies and PeV events at IceCube. United States. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2015/03/027.
Bhattacharya, A., Gandhi, R., Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510, and Gupta, A. 2015. "The direct detection of boosted dark matter at high energies and PeV events at IceCube". United States. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2015/03/027.
@article{osti_22454526,
title = {The direct detection of boosted dark matter at high energies and PeV events at IceCube},
author = {Bhattacharya, A. and Gandhi, R. and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510 and Gupta, A.},
abstractNote = {We study the possibility of detecting dark matter directly via a small but energetic component that is allowed within present-day constraints. Drawing closely upon the fact that neutral current neutrino nucleon interactions are indistinguishable from DM-nucleon interactions at low energies, we extend this feature to high energies for a small, non-thermal but highly energetic population of DM particle χ, created via the decay of a significantly more massive and long-lived non-thermal relic ϕ, which forms the bulk of DM. If χ interacts with nucleons, its cross-section, like the neutrino-nucleus coherent cross-section, can rise sharply with energy leading to deep inelastic scattering, similar to neutral current neutrino-nucleon interactions at high energies. Thus, its direct detection may be possible via cascades in very large neutrino detectors. As a specific example, we apply this notion to the recently reported three ultra-high energy PeV cascade events clustered around 1−2 PeV at IceCube (IC). We discuss the features which may help discriminate this scenario from one in which only astrophysical neutrinos constitute the event sample in detectors like IC.},
doi = {10.1088/1475-7516/2015/03/027},
journal = {Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics},
number = 03,
volume = 2015,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 3
}
  • We study the possibility of detecting dark matter directly via a small but energetic component that is allowed within present-day constraints. Drawing closely upon the fact that neutral current neutrino nucleon interactions are indistinguishable from DM-nucleon interactions at low energies, we extend this feature to high energies for a small, non-thermal but highly energetic population of DM particle χ, created via the decay of a significantly more massive and long-lived non-thermal relic Φ, which forms the bulk of DM. If χ interacts with nucleons, its cross-section, like the neutrino-nucleus coherent cross-section, can rise sharply with energy leading to deep inelasticmore » scattering, similar to neutral current neutrino-nucleon interactions at high energies. Thus, its direct detection may be possible via cascades in very large neutrino detectors. As a specific example, we apply this notion to the recently reported three ultra-high energy PeV cascade events clustered around 1 – 2 PeV at IceCube (IC). We discuss the features which may help discriminate this scenario from one in which only astrophysical neutrinos constitute the event sample in detectors like IC.« less
  • We study the possibility of detecting dark matter directly via a small but energetic component that is allowed within present-day constraints. Drawing closely upon the fact that neutral current neutrino nucleon interactions are indistinguishable from DM-nucleon interactions at low energies, we extend this feature to high energies for a small, non-thermal but highly energetic population of DM particle χ, created via the decay of a significantly more massive and long-lived non-thermal relic φ, which forms the bulk of DM. If χ interacts with nucleons, its cross-section, like the neutrino-nucleus coherent cross-section, can rise sharply with energy leading to deep inelasticmore » scattering, similar to neutral current neutrino-nucleon interactions at high energies. Thus, its direct detection may be possible via cascades in very large neutrino detectors. As a specific example, we apply this notion to the recently reported three ultra-high energy PeV cascade events clustered around 1−2 PeV at IceCube (IC). We discuss the features which may help discriminate this scenario from one in which only astrophysical neutrinos constitute the event sample in detectors like IC.« less
  • We initiate the study of novel thermal dark matter (DM) scenarios where present-day annihilation of DM in the galactic center produces boosted stable particles in the dark sector. These stable particles are typically a subdominant DM component, but because they are produced with a large Lorentz boost in this process, they can be detected in large volume terrestrial experiments via neutral-current-like interactions with electrons or nuclei. This novel DM signal thus combines the production mechanism associated with indirect detection experiments (i.e. galactic DM annihilation) with the detection mechanism associated with direct detection experiments (i.e. DM scattering off terrestrial targets). Suchmore » processes are generically present in multi-component DM scenarios or those with non-minimal DM stabilization symmetries. As a proof of concept, we present a model of two-component thermal relic DM, where the dominant heavy DM species has no tree-level interactions with the standard model and thus largely evades direct and indirect DM bounds. Instead, its thermal relic abundance is set by annihilation into a subdominant lighter DM species, and the latter can be detected in the boosted channel via the same annihilation process occurring today. Especially for dark sector masses in the 10 MeV–10 GeV range, the most promising signals are electron scattering events pointing toward the galactic center. These can be detected in experiments designed for neutrino physics or proton decay, in particular Super-K and its upgrade Hyper-K, as well as the PINGU/MICA extensions of IceCube. This boosted DM phenomenon highlights the distinctive signatures possible from non-minimal dark sectors.« less
  • In the earlier work on the development of a model-independent data analysis method for determining the mass of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) by using measured recoil energies from direct Dark Matter detection experiments directly, it was assumed that the analyzed data sets are background-free, i.e., all events are WIMP signals. In this article, as a more realistic study, we take into account a fraction of possible residue background events, which pass all discrimination criteria and then mix with other real WIMP-induced events in our data sets. Our simulations show that, for the determination of the WIMP mass, the maximalmore » acceptable fraction of residue background events in the analyzed data sets of O(50) total events is ∼ 20%, for background windows of the entire experimental possible energy ranges, or in low energy ranges; while, for background windows in relatively higher energy ranges, this maximal acceptable fraction of residue background events can not be larger than ∼ 10%. For a WIMP mass of 100 GeV with 20% background events in the windows of the entire experimental possible energy ranges, the reconstructed WIMP mass and the 1σ statistical uncertainty are ∼ 97GeV{sup +61%}{sub −35%} ( ∼ 94GeV{sup +55%}{sub −33%} for background-free data sets)« less
  • In our earlier work on the development of a model-independent data analysis method for reconstructing the (moments of the) time-averaged one-dimensional velocity distribution function of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) by using measured recoil energies from direct Dark Matter detection experiments directly, it was assumed that the analyzed data sets are background-free, i.e., all events are WIMP signals. In this article, as a more realistic study, we take into account a fraction of possible residue background events, which pass all discrimination criteria and then mix with other real WIMP-induced events in our data sets. Our simulations show that, for themore » reconstruction of the one-dimensional WIMP velocity distribution, the maximal acceptable fraction of residue background events in the analyzed data set(s) of O(500) total events is ∼ 10%–20%. For a WIMP mass of 50 GeV with a negligible uncertainty and 20% residue background events, the deviation of the reconstructed velocity distribution would in principle be ∼ 7.5% with a statistical uncertainty of ∼ 18% ( ∼ 19% for a background-free data set)« less