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Probing new physics with long-lived charged particles produced by atmospheric and astrophysical neutrinos

Ando, Shin'ichiro and Beacom, John F. and Profumo, Stefano and Rainwater, David (2008) Probing new physics with long-lived charged particles produced by atmospheric and astrophysical neutrinos. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2008 (04). Art. No. 029. ISSN 1475-7516. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2008/04/029.

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As suggested by some extensions of the standard model of particle physics, dark matter may be a super-weakly-interacting lightest stable particle, while the next-to-lightest particle (NLP) is charged and metastable. One could test such a possibility with neutrino telescopes, by detecting the charged NLPs produced in high-energy neutrino collisions with Earth matter. We study the production of charged NLPs by both atmospheric and astrophysical neutrinos; only the latter, which is largely uncertain and has not been detected yet, was the focus of previous studies. We compute the resulting fluxes of the charged NLPs, compare those of different origins and analyze the dependence on the underlying particle physics set-up. We point out that, even if the astrophysical neutrino flux is very small, atmospheric neutrinos, especially those from the prompt decay of charmed mesons, may provide a detectable flux of NLP pairs at neutrino telescopes such as IceCube. We also comment on the flux of charged NLPs expected from proton–nucleon collisions and show that, for theoretically motivated and phenomenologically viable models, it is typically subdominant and below detectable rates.

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Profumo, Stefano0000-0002-9159-7556
Additional Information:© Institute of Physics and IOP Publishing Limited 2008. Received 20 November 2007, accepted for publication 26 March 2008. Published 21 April 2008. This work was supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation (SA); CCAPP, The Ohio State University, and NSF CAREER grant PHY-0547102 (JFB); DoE grants DE-FG03-92-ER40701, DE-FG02-05ER41361, and NASA grant NNG05GF69G (SP); and DoE grant DE-FG02-91ER40685 (DR). We would like to thank Francis Halzen, Chris Quigg, and Xerxes Tata for enlightening discussions and Markus Ahlers for useful correspondence. E-print number: 0711.2908.
Subject Keywords:cosmic rays; dark matter; solar and atmospheric neutrinos; neutrino and gamma astronomy
Issue or Number:04
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:ANDjcap08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10500
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:12 May 2008
Last Modified:12 Jul 2022 19:41

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