A Dark Matter Search with AMANDA : Limits on the Muon Flux from Neutralino Annihilations at the Centre of the Earth with 1997-99 Data
The nature of the dark matter in the Universe is one of the greatest mysteries in modern astronomy. The neutralino is a nonbaryonic dark matter candidate in minimal supersymmetric extensions to the standard model of particle physics. If the dark matter halo of our galaxy is made up of neutralinos some would become gravitationally trapped inside massive bodies like the Earth. Their pair-wise annihilation produces neutrinos that can be detected by neutrino experiments looking in the direction of the centre of the Earth.The AMANDA neutrino telescope, currently the largest in the world, consists of an array of light detectors buried deep in the Antarctic glacier at the geographical South Pole. The extremely transparent ice acts as a Cherenkov medium for muons passing the array and using the timing information of detected photons it is possible to reconstruct the muon direction.A search has been performed for nearly vertically upgoing neutrino induced muons with AMANDA-B10 data taken over the three year period 1997-99. No excess above the atmospheric neutrino background expectation was found. Upper limits at the 90 % confidence level has been set on the annihilation rate of neutralinos at the centre of the Earth and on the muon flux induced by neutrinos created by the annihilation products.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Physics; Elementary particle physics; Physics
Date of Publication:01/01/2004