26-30 July 2010
Montpellier 2 University
Europe/Paris timezone

The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) - Hunt for dark matter using low energy antideuterons

27 Jul 2010, 17:30
20m
Salle des Actes (Montpellier 2 University)

Salle des Actes

Montpellier 2 University

Place Eugene Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5 FRANCE
Talk Dark Matter Direct Searches Parallel session : Indirect Searches 3

Speaker

Dr Philip von Doetinchem (UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory)

Description

The GAPS experiment is foreseen to carry out a dark matter search using low energy cosmic ray antideuterons (< 0.3GeV/n) using a novel detection approach. The theoretically predicted antideuteron flux resulting from secondary interactions of primary cosmic rays, e.g. protons, with the interstellar medium is very low. So far not a single cosmic antideuteron has been detected by any experiment but well-motivated theories beyond the standard model of particle physics, e.g. supersymmetry or universal extra dimensions, contain viable dark matter candidates which could led to a significant enhancement of the antideuteron flux due to self-annihilation of the dark matter particles. This flux contribution is believed to be especially large at small energies which leads to a high discovery potential for GAPS. In comparison to other experiments, GAPS will be able to measure antideuterons at lower energies than the upcoming AMS-02 experiment and will partly cover complementary parameter space regions of dark matter scenarios studied by direct dark matter underground searches. GAPS is designed to achieve its goals via a series of ultra-long duration balloon flights (bGAPS) at high altitude in Antarctica, starting in 2014. The detector itself will consist of 13 planes of Si(Li) solid state detectors and a time-of-flight system. The antideuterons will be slowed down in the Si(Li) material, replace a shell electron and form an excited exotic atom. The atom will be deexcited by characteristic x-ray transitions and will end its life by the formation of an annihilation pion star. This unique event structure will deliver a nearly background free detection possibility. To prove the performance of the different detector components at stratospheric altitudes a prototype flight (pGAPS) will be conducted in 2011 from Taiki, Japan. This flight will also be important to understand the particle and x-ray backgrounds which might influence the final bGAPS design. This presentation will report on the general bGAPS concept and on the status of the pGAPS instrument and flight preparations.

Primary author

Dr Philip von Doetinchem (UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory)

Co-authors

Dr Atsushi Takada (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Prof. Charles J. Hailey (Columbia University Astronomy and Astrophysics) Dr Florian H. Gahbauer (University of Latvia Atomic and Molecular Physics Laboratory) Dr Hideyuki Fuke (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Dr Isaac Mognet (UC Los Angeles Physics and Astronomy) Dr Jason E. Koglin (Columbia University Astronomy and Astrophysics) Dr Jeffrey Zweerink (UC Los Angeles Physics and Astronomy) Dr Kaya Mori (Columbia University Astronomy and Astrophysics) Prof. Nobutaka Bando (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Norm Madden (Columbia University Astronomy and Astrophysics) Prof. Rene A. Ong (UC Los Angeles Physics and Astronomy) Prof. Steven E. Boggs (UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory) Prof. Tetsuya Yoshida (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Mrs Tracy Zhang (UC Los Angeles Physics and Astronomy) Dr Tsuguo Aramaki (Columbia University Astronomy and Astrophysics) Dr William W. Craig (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Presentation Materials