skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Search for the Neutron Decay n X + γ , Where X is a Dark Matter Particle

Abstract

Fornal and Grinstein recently proposed that the discrepancy between two different methods of neutron lifetime measurements, the beam and bottle methods, can be explained by a previously unobserved dark matter decay mode, n→X+γ. We perform a search for this decay mode over the allowed range of energies of the monoenergetic γ ray for X to be dark matter. A Compton-suppressed high-purity germanium detector is used to identify γ rays from neutron decay in a nickel-phosphorous-coated stainless-steel bottle. A combination of Monte Carlo and radioactive source calibrations is used to determine the absolute efficiency for detecting γ rays arising from the dark matter decay mode. Lastly, we exclude the possibility of a sufficiently strong branch to explain the lifetime discrepancy with 97% confidence.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4];  [1];  [5];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [6];  [7];  [2];  [1];  [7];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [8] more »;  [9];  [1];  [1];  [5];  [5] « less
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Kellogg Radiation Lab.
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
  5. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
  6. Inst. Laue-Langevin (ILL), Grenoble (France)
  7. Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States). Dept. of Physics
  8. Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY (United States)
  9. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26)
OSTI Identifier:
1462879
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1459740; OSTI ID: 1475340
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-20909
Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007; PRLTAO; TRN: US1902226
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; 20140568DR; FG02-97ER41042; SC0014622; 8215; AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 121; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS

Citation Formats

Tang, Zhaowen, Blatnik, Marie, Broussard, Leah Jacklyn, Choi, J. H., Clayton, S. M., Cude-Woods, Chris, Currie, S., Fellers, D. E., Fries, M., Geltenbort, P., Gonzalez, F., Hickerson, K. P., Ito, T. M., Liu, C.-Y., Macdonald, S. W. T., Makela, M., Morris, C. L., O'Shaughnessy, Chris M., Pattie, R. W., Plaster, Brad, Salvat, D. J., Saunders, A., Wang, Z., Young, A. R., and Zeck, Bryan A. Search for the Neutron Decay n→X+γ , Where X is a Dark Matter Particle. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.022505.
Tang, Zhaowen, Blatnik, Marie, Broussard, Leah Jacklyn, Choi, J. H., Clayton, S. M., Cude-Woods, Chris, Currie, S., Fellers, D. E., Fries, M., Geltenbort, P., Gonzalez, F., Hickerson, K. P., Ito, T. M., Liu, C.-Y., Macdonald, S. W. T., Makela, M., Morris, C. L., O'Shaughnessy, Chris M., Pattie, R. W., Plaster, Brad, Salvat, D. J., Saunders, A., Wang, Z., Young, A. R., & Zeck, Bryan A. Search for the Neutron Decay n→X+γ , Where X is a Dark Matter Particle. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.022505.
Tang, Zhaowen, Blatnik, Marie, Broussard, Leah Jacklyn, Choi, J. H., Clayton, S. M., Cude-Woods, Chris, Currie, S., Fellers, D. E., Fries, M., Geltenbort, P., Gonzalez, F., Hickerson, K. P., Ito, T. M., Liu, C.-Y., Macdonald, S. W. T., Makela, M., Morris, C. L., O'Shaughnessy, Chris M., Pattie, R. W., Plaster, Brad, Salvat, D. J., Saunders, A., Wang, Z., Young, A. R., and Zeck, Bryan A. Wed . "Search for the Neutron Decay n→X+γ , Where X is a Dark Matter Particle". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.022505. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1462879.
@article{osti_1462879,
title = {Search for the Neutron Decay n→X+γ , Where X is a Dark Matter Particle},
author = {Tang, Zhaowen and Blatnik, Marie and Broussard, Leah Jacklyn and Choi, J. H. and Clayton, S. M. and Cude-Woods, Chris and Currie, S. and Fellers, D. E. and Fries, M. and Geltenbort, P. and Gonzalez, F. and Hickerson, K. P. and Ito, T. M. and Liu, C.-Y. and Macdonald, S. W. T. and Makela, M. and Morris, C. L. and O'Shaughnessy, Chris M. and Pattie, R. W. and Plaster, Brad and Salvat, D. J. and Saunders, A. and Wang, Z. and Young, A. R. and Zeck, Bryan A.},
abstractNote = {Fornal and Grinstein recently proposed that the discrepancy between two different methods of neutron lifetime measurements, the beam and bottle methods, can be explained by a previously unobserved dark matter decay mode, n→X+γ. We perform a search for this decay mode over the allowed range of energies of the monoenergetic γ ray for X to be dark matter. A Compton-suppressed high-purity germanium detector is used to identify γ rays from neutron decay in a nickel-phosphorous-coated stainless-steel bottle. A combination of Monte Carlo and radioactive source calibrations is used to determine the absolute efficiency for detecting γ rays arising from the dark matter decay mode. Lastly, we exclude the possibility of a sufficiently strong branch to explain the lifetime discrepancy with 97% confidence.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.022505},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 2,
volume = 121,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 10 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: The UCN bottle is installed in the existing beamline, and a HPGe detector is placed next to the outer wall of the vessel. The UCN gate valve is located upstream of the polarizing solenoid magnet. On the left is a photograph of our setup and on the rightmore » is a schematic.« less

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Recent developments in Geant4
journal, November 2016

  • Allison, J.; Amako, K.; Apostolakis, J.
  • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol. 835
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2016.06.125

Measurement of the neutron lifetime by counting trapped protons
journal, July 1990


Neutron lifetime measurements using gravitationally trapped ultracold neutrons
journal, September 2008


The Neutron Enigma
journal, March 2016


A revised value for the neutron lifetime measured using a Penning trap
journal, January 1996


Neutron–Mirror-Neutron Oscillations: How Fast Might They Be?
journal, February 2006


Geant4—a simulation toolkit
journal, July 2003

  • Agostinelli, S.; Allison, J.; Amako, K.
  • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol. 506, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9002(03)01368-8

Dark Matter Interpretation of the Neutron Decay Anomaly
journal, May 2018


Improved Determination of the Neutron Lifetime
journal, November 2013


Evaluation of commercial nickel–phosphorus coating for ultracold neutron guides using a pinhole bottling method
journal, November 2017

  • Pattie, R. W.; Adamek, E. R.; Brenner, T.
  • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol. 872
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2017.07.051

Experimental search for neutron–mirror neutron oscillations using storage of ultracold neutrons
journal, May 2008


Transmission measurements of guides for ultra-cold neutrons using UCN capture activation analysis of vanadium
journal, January 2010

  • Frei, A.; Schreckenbach, K.; Franke, B.
  • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol. 612, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2009.10.101

Open statistical issues in Particle Physics
journal, September 2008


A new method for measuring the neutron lifetime using an in situ neutron detector
journal, May 2017

  • Morris, C. L.; Adamek, E. R.; Broussard, L. J.
  • Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 88, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.4983578

A multilayer surface detector for ultracold neutrons
journal, October 2015

  • Wang, Zhehui; Hoffbauer, M. A.; Morris, C. L.
  • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol. 798
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2015.07.010

Performance of the Los Alamos National Laboratory spallation-driven solid-deuterium ultra-cold neutron source
journal, January 2013

  • Saunders, A.; Makela, M.; Bagdasarova, Y.
  • Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 84, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.4770063

    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.