Low-background balloon-borne direct search for ionizing massive particles as a component of the dark galactic halo matter.
AuthorMcGuire, Patrick Charles.
Committee ChairBowen, Theodore
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA dark matter (DM) search experiment was flown on the IMAX balloon payload, which tested the hypothesis that a minor component of the dark matter in the Galactic halo is composed of ionizing (dE/dx > 1 \ MeV/g/cm² or σ > 2 x 10⁻²⁰ cm²) supermassive particles (mₓ ∈ [10⁴,10¹²] GeV/c²) that cannot penetrate the atmosphere due to their low velocities (β ∈ [0.0003, 0.0025]). The DM search experiment consisted of a delayed coincidence between four ∼ 2400 cm² plastic scintillation detectors, with a total acceptance of ∼ 100 cm² sr. In order to search for ultra-slow particles which do not slow down in the IMAX telescope, the experiment contained TDCs which measured the time-delays T(i,i+1) ∈ [0.3, 14.0] μs between hits in successive counters ∼ 1% precision. Using the first 5 hours of data at float altitude (5 g/cm² residual atmosphere), we observed ∼ 5 candidate non-slowing dark matter events, consistent with the background from accidental coincidences of 4 events. This implies that the DM flux is less than 6.5 x 10⁻⁶cm⁻²s⁻¹sr⁻¹ (95% C.L.). Similar results were also obtained for particles which slow down in the counter telescope. This experiment effectively closes much of a previously unconstrained 'window' in the mass/cross-section joint parameter space for massive particles as the dominant halo DM, and implies that for certain regions of this parameter space massive particles cannot be more than one part in 10⁵ by mass of all the DM. These results can also directly constrain 'light' magnetic monopoles and neutraCHAMPs in a previously unconstrained mass region mₓ ∈ [10⁶,10⁹] GeV.