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Title: A consistent theory of decaying Dark Matter connecting IceCube to the Sesame Street

Abstract

The high energy events observed at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory have triggered many investigations interpreting the highly energetic neutrinos detected as decay products of heavy unstable Dark Matter particles. However, while very detailed treatments of the IceCube phenomenology exist, only a few references focus on the (non-trivial) Dark Matter production part—and all of those rely on relatively complicated new models which are not always testable directly. We instead investigate two of the most minimal scenarios possible, where the operator responsible for the IceCube events is directly involved in Dark Matter production. We show that the simplest (four-dimensional) operator is not powerful enough to accommodate all constraints. A more non-minimal setting (at mass dimension six), however, can do both fitting all the data and also allowing for a comparatively small parameter space only, parts of which can be in reach of future observations. We conclude that minimalistic approaches can be enough to explain all data required, while complicated new physics seems not to be required by IceCube.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. INFN, Sezione di Napoli, Complesso Univ. Monte S. Angelo, I-80126 Napoli (Italy)
  2. Max-Planck-Institut für Physik (Werner-Heisenberg-Institut), Föhringer Ring 6, 80805 München (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22679926
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; Journal Volume: 2017; Journal Issue: 04; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; DECAY; FOUR-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; ICECUBE NEUTRINO DETECTOR; MASS; NEUTRINOS; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; SPACE

Citation Formats

Chianese, Marco, and Merle, Alexander, E-mail: chianese@na.infn.it, E-mail: amerle@mpp.mpg.de. A consistent theory of decaying Dark Matter connecting IceCube to the Sesame Street. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2017/04/017.
Chianese, Marco, & Merle, Alexander, E-mail: chianese@na.infn.it, E-mail: amerle@mpp.mpg.de. A consistent theory of decaying Dark Matter connecting IceCube to the Sesame Street. United States. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2017/04/017.
Chianese, Marco, and Merle, Alexander, E-mail: chianese@na.infn.it, E-mail: amerle@mpp.mpg.de. Sat . "A consistent theory of decaying Dark Matter connecting IceCube to the Sesame Street". United States. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2017/04/017.
@article{osti_22679926,
title = {A consistent theory of decaying Dark Matter connecting IceCube to the Sesame Street},
author = {Chianese, Marco and Merle, Alexander, E-mail: chianese@na.infn.it, E-mail: amerle@mpp.mpg.de},
abstractNote = {The high energy events observed at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory have triggered many investigations interpreting the highly energetic neutrinos detected as decay products of heavy unstable Dark Matter particles. However, while very detailed treatments of the IceCube phenomenology exist, only a few references focus on the (non-trivial) Dark Matter production part—and all of those rely on relatively complicated new models which are not always testable directly. We instead investigate two of the most minimal scenarios possible, where the operator responsible for the IceCube events is directly involved in Dark Matter production. We show that the simplest (four-dimensional) operator is not powerful enough to accommodate all constraints. A more non-minimal setting (at mass dimension six), however, can do both fitting all the data and also allowing for a comparatively small parameter space only, parts of which can be in reach of future observations. We conclude that minimalistic approaches can be enough to explain all data required, while complicated new physics seems not to be required by IceCube.},
doi = {10.1088/1475-7516/2017/04/017},
journal = {Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics},
number = 04,
volume = 2017,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • Recent observations by IceCube, notably two PeV cascades accompanied by events at energies ∼ (30–400) TeV, are clearly in excess over atmospheric background fluxes and beg for an astroparticle physics explanation. Although some models of astrophysical accelerators can account for the observations within current statistics, intriguing features in the energy and possibly angular distributions of the events make worth exploring alternatives. Here, we entertain the possibility of interpreting the data with a few PeV mass scale decaying dark matter, with lifetime of the order of 10{sup 27} s. We discuss generic signatures of this scenario, including its unique energy spectrum distortionmore » with respect to the benchmark E{sub ν}{sup −2} expectation for astrophysical sources, as well as peculiar anisotropies. A direct comparison with the data show a good match with the above-mentioned features. We further discuss possible future checks of this scenario.« less
  • In the light of the new IceCube data on the (yet unidentified) astrophysical neutrino flux in the PeV and sub-PeV range, we present an update on the status of decaying dark matter interpretation of the events. In particular, we develop further the angular distribution analysis and discuss the perspectives for diagnostics. By performing various statistical tests (maximum likelihood, Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Anderson-Darling tests) we conclude that currently the data show a mild preference (below the two sigma level) for the angular distribution expected from dark matter decay vs. the isotropic distribution foreseen for a conventional astrophysical flux of extragalactic origin. Also,more » we briefly develop some general considerations on heavy dark matter model building and on the compatibility of the expected energy spectrum of decay products with the IceCube data, as well as with existing bounds from gamma-rays. Alternatively, assuming that the IceCube data originate from conventional astrophysical sources, we derive bounds on both decaying and annihilating dark matter for various final states. The lower limits on heavy dark matter lifetime improve by up to an order of magnitude with respect to existing constraints, definitively making these events—even if astrophysical in origin—an important tool for astroparticle physics studies.« less
  • We present a novel interpretation of IceCube high energy neutrino events (with energy larger than 60 TeV) in terms of an extraterrestrial flux due to two different contributions: a flux originated by known astrophysical sources and dominating IceCube observations up to few hundreds TeV, and a new flux component where the most energetic neutrinos come from the leptophilic three-body decays of dark matter particles with a mass of few PeV. Differently from other approaches, we provide two examples of elementary particle models that do not require extremely tiny coupling constants. We find the compatibility of the theoretical predictions with themore » IceCube results when the astrophysical flux has a cutoff of the order of 100 TeV (broken power law). In this case the most energetic part of the spectrum (PeV neutrinos) is due to an extra component such as the decay of a very massive dark matter component. Due to the low statistics at our disposal we have considered for simplicity the equivalence between deposited and neutrino energy, however such approximation does not affect dramatically the qualitative results. Of course, a purely astrophysical origin of the neutrino flux (no cutoff in energy below the PeV scale — unbroken power law) is still allowed. If future data will confirm the presence of a sharp cutoff above few PeV this would be in favor of a dark matter interpretation.« less
  • We present a novel interpretation of IceCube high energy neutrino events (with energy larger than 60 TeV) in terms of an extraterrestrial flux due to two different contributions: a flux originated by known astrophysical sources and dominating IceCube observations up to few hundreds TeV, and a new flux component where the most energetic neutrinos come from the leptophilic three-body decays of dark matter particles with a mass of few PeV. Differently from other approaches, we provide two examples of elementary particle models that do not require extremely tiny coupling constants. We find the compatibility of the theoretical predictions with themore » IceCube results when the astrophysical flux has a cutoff of the order of 100 TeV (broken power law). In this case the most energetic part of the spectrum (PeV neutrinos) is due to an extra component such as the decay of a very massive dark matter component. Due to the low statistics at our disposal we have considered for simplicity the equivalence between deposited and neutrino energy, however such approximation does not affect dramatically the qualitative results. Of course, a purely astrophysical origin of the neutrino flux (no cutoff in energy below the PeV scale—unbroken power law) is still allowed. If future data will confirm the presence of a sharp cutoff above few PeV this would be in favor of a dark matter interpretation.« less
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