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Indirect Searches for Dark Matter in the Milky Way with IceCube-DeepCore
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics. (Elementary Particle Physics with IceCube)
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many astronomical observations, including rotational curve measurements of stars and the analysis of the cosmic microwave background, suggest the existence of an invisible matter density content in the Universe, commonly called Dark Matter (DM). Possibly, DM could be of particle nature, where Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) could be a viable DM candidate. The cubic-kilometer sized IceCube neutrino observatory located at the Earth’s South Pole can search indirectly for the existence of DM by detecting neutrino signals from WIMP self-annihilation in the Galactic center (GC) and the Galactic halo (GH). Two main physics analyses were developed and conducted to search indirectly for WIMP self-annihilation in the Milky Way’s GC and GH. Signal hypotheses for different WIMP annihilation channels, WIMP masses and DM halo profiles were tested. The results of both analyses were compatible with the background-only hypothesis for all tested signal hypotheses. Thus, upper limits at the 90% confidence level (C.L.) on the thermally averaged DM self-annihilation cross-section, <σΑv>, were set. Dedicated atmospheric muon veto techniques have been developed for the GC search making such an IceCube analysis possible for the first time. The GC analysis utilized data from 319.7 days of live-time of the IceCube detector running in its 79-string configuration during 2010 and 2011, whereas the GH analysis utilized pre-existing data samples developed for point-like neutrino sources with a live-time of 1701.9 days between 2008 and 2013. The most stringent upper limits on <σΑv> were obtained for WIMP annihilation directly into a pair of neutrinos assuming a Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) DM halo profile. Conducting the GC and GH analyses for this annihilation channel an upper limit on <σΑv> as low as 4.0 · 10-24 cm3 s-1 and 4.5 · 10-24 cm3 s-1 is set for a 65 GeV and 500 GeV massive WIMP, respectively. These galactic indirect neutrino searches for DM are complementary to the indirect gamma-ray DM searches usually performed on extra-galactic targets like spheroidal dwarf galaxies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physics, Stockholm University , 2016. , 149 p.
Keyword [en]
Dark Matter Annihilation, WIMP, Milky Way, IceCube Neutrino Observatory, DeepCore, neutrino, particle physics, high-energy physics
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128785ISBN: 978-91-7649-401-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-128785DiVA: diva2:916672
Public defence
2016-06-02, room FB42, AlbaNova University Center, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-05-10 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2017-02-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Extending IceCube Low Energy Neutrino Searches for Dark Matter with DeepCore
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extending IceCube Low Energy Neutrino Searches for Dark Matter with DeepCore
2013 (English)In: Proceedings, 33rd International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2013): Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 2-9, 2013 / [ed] Alberto Saa, 2013, 0565- p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The cubic-kilometer sized IceCube neutrino observatory in the glacial ice at the South Pole offers new opportunities for low-energy neutrino physics and astrophysics, in particular for indirect dark matter searches. An efficient veto against atmospheric muons at an early stage of an analysis is an important tool for background rejection. For low energies, this can be achieved by using the DeepCore in-fill array of IceCube as a fiducial volume and the surrounding IceCube detector as an active muon veto. We present newly developed veto techniques for dark matter searches with DeepCore. The effective use of DeepCore and the application of these vetos are discussed, drawing on the example of two recent IceCube indirect dark matter searches for signals from the Sun and the Galactic Center, respectively.

Keyword
IceCube, DeepCore, Dark Matter, Southern Hemisphere
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128766 (URN)
Conference
33rd International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2013), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 2-9, 2013
Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2016-04-28
2. Letter of Intent: The Precision IceCube Next Generation Upgrade (PINGU)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Letter of Intent: The Precision IceCube Next Generation Upgrade (PINGU)
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Precision IceCube Next Generation Upgrade (PINGU) is a proposed low-energy in-fill extension to the IceCube Observatory. With detection technology modeled closely on the successful IceCube example, PINGU will feature the world's largest effective volume for neutrinos at an energy threshold of a few GeV, enabling it to reach its chief goal of determining the neutrino mass hierarchy (NMH) quickly and at modest cost. PINGU will be able to distinguish between the normal and inverted NMH at 3σ significance with an estimated 3.5 years of data. With its unprecedented statistical sample of low energy atmospheric neutrinos, PINGU will also have highly competitive sensitivity to νμ disappearance, θ23 octant and maximal mixing, and ντ appearance. PINGU can also extend the search for solar WIMP dark matter into the region currently favored by some direct dark matter experiments. At the lower end of the energy range, PINGU can use neutrino tomography to perform the first-ever direct measurement of the composition of the Earth's core. With its increased module density, PINGU will improve IceCube's sensitivity to galactic supernova neutrino bursts and enable it to extract the neutrino energy spectral shape.

National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128781 (URN)
Projects
PINGU
Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically approved
3. Search for dark matter annihilation in the Galactic Center with IceCube-79
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Search for dark matter annihilation in the Galactic Center with IceCube-79
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2015 (English)In: European Physical Journal C, ISSN 1434-6044, E-ISSN 1434-6052, Vol. 75, no 10, 492Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Milky Way is expected to be embedded in a halo of dark matter particles, with the highest density in the central region, and decreasing density with the halo-centric radius. Dark matter might be indirectly detectable at Earth through a flux of stable particles generated in dark matter annihilations and peaked in the direction of the Galactic Center. We present a search for an excess flux of muon (anti-) neutrinos from dark matter annihilation in the Galactic Center using the cubic-kilometer-sized IceCube neutrino detector at the South Pole. There, the Galactic Center is always seen above the horizon. Thus, new and dedicated veto techniques against atmospheric muons are required to make the southern hemisphere accessible for IceCube. We used 319.7 live-days of data from IceCube operating in its 79-string configuration during 2010 and 2011. No neutrino excess was found and the final result is compatible with the background. We present upper limits on the self-annihilation cross-section, < sAv >, for WIMP masses ranging from 30GeV up to 10TeV, assuming cuspy (NFW) and flat-cored (Burkert) dark matter halo profiles, reaching down to similar or equal to 4 . 10(-24) cm(3) s(-1), and similar or equal to 2.6 . 10(-23) cm(3) s(-1) for the nu(nu) over bar channel, respectively.

National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-125815 (URN)10.1140/epjc/s10052-015-3713-1 (DOI)000366311800002 ()
Available from: 2016-01-21 Created: 2016-01-18 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
4. Results from Low-Energy Neutrino Searches for Dark Matterin the Galactic Center with IceCube-DeepCore
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Results from Low-Energy Neutrino Searches for Dark Matterin the Galactic Center with IceCube-DeepCore
2013 (English)In: Proceedings, 33rd International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2013): Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 2-9, 2013, 2013, 0330- p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The cubic-kilometer sized IceCube neutrino observatory, constructed in the glacial ice at the SouthPole, offers new opportunities for neutrino physics with its in-fill array “DeepCore”. In particular, the use of the outer layers of the IceCube detector as a veto allows low-energy neutrino searches to be performed in the southern sky. This makes the Galactic Center, an important target in searches for self-annihilating dark matter, reachable for IceCube. In this contribution we present the results of the first Galactic Center analysis using more than 10 months of data taken with the 79-string configuration of IceCube-DeepCore, with a special focus on low WIMP masses reaching a sensitivity as low as 30 GeV. We also present the status of an analysis extending the sensitivity to WIMP masses up to the TeV scale.

Keyword
Dark Matter, WIMP, Galactic Center, IceCube, DeepCore
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128769 (URN)
Conference
33rd International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2013), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 2-9, 2013
Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2016-04-28

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