Dark matter decays from the galactic center using IceCube-86

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University of Alabama Libraries

Most searches for Dark Matter primarily focus on the WIMP paradigm, which predicts dark matter masses in the GeV - 10 TeV range. However, these relatively low energy searches continue to produce null results, possibly suggesting that dark matter is something other than WIMPs. Gravitinos, on the other hand, can satisfy the cosmological constraints on dark matter, and decay with a lifetime orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe, producing extremely high energy neutrinos. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has already had success detecting EHE extragalactic neutrinos, and is well suited to search for dark matter in this high energy regime. This analysis sets limits on the gravitino lifetime from the high energy neutrino events observed at IceCube using three possible astrophysical explanations of the neutrino flux. The most conservative limit on the gravitino lifetime using the softest two-body decay mode was found to be τDM=1027.6s. This is the first analysis developed to place a limit on the gravitino lifetime using IceCube software and simulation files, and the results are comparable to theoretical limits based on the same data set.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Particle physics, Astrophysics, Physics