Probing new physics with underground accelerators and radioactive sources




Izaguirre, Eder
Krnjaic, Gordan
Pospelov, Maxim

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Physics Letters B


New light, weakly coupled particles can be efficiently produced at existing and future high-intensity accelerators and radioactive sources in deep underground laboratories. Once produced, these particles can scatter or decay in large neutrino detectors (e.g.Super-K and Borexino) housed in the same facilities. We discuss the production of weakly coupled scalars φvia nuclear de-excitation of an excited element into the ground state in two viable concrete reactions: the decay of the 0+excited state of 16O populated via a (p, α)reaction on fluorine and from radioactive 144Ce decay where the scalar is produced in the de-excitation of 144Nd∗, which occurs along the decay chain. Subsequent scattering on electrons, e(φ, γ)e, yields a mono-energetic signal that is observable in neutrino detectors. We show that this proposed experimental setupcan cover new territory for masses 250keV≤mφ≤2meand couplings to protons and electrons, 10−11≤gegp≤10−7. This parameter space is motivated by explanations of the “proton charge radius puzzle”, thus this strategy adds a viable new physics component to the neutrino and nuclear astrophysics programs at underground facilities.




Izaguirre, E., Krnjaic, G. & Pospelov, M. (2015). Probing new physics with underground accelerators and radioactive sources. Physics Letters B, 740, 61-65.