The GAPS experiment is foreseen to carry out a dark matter search using a novel detection approach to detect low-energy cosmic-ray antideuterons. The theoretically predicted antideuteron flux resulting from secondary interactions of primary cosmic rays 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. GAPS is designed to achieve its goals via a series of ultra-long duration balloon flights 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 low-energy antideuterons (< 0.3 GeV/n) 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 forming an annihilation pion star. This unique event structure will allow for nearly background free detection. To prove the performance of the different detector components at stratospheric altitudes, a prototype flight will be conducted in 2011 from Taiki, Japan.
|Proceedings of Science
|Published - Dec 1 2010
|8th International Workshop on Identification of Dark Matter, IDM 2010 - Montpellier, France
Duration: Jul 26 2010 → Jul 30 2010
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes