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This Week at Physics

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Events on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

R. G. Herb Condensed Matter Seminar
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Christian Ast, Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research
Abstract: TBD
Host: Franz Himpsel
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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Astrophysical neutrinos, PeV events at IceCube, and the Direct Detection of Dark Matter
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Raj Gandhi, HRI, India and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Abstract: Given present day constraints, dark matter (DM) may not comprise of thermal weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPS). If dark matter dominantly comprises of a massive, non-thermal relic φ (mass mφ), which decays preferentially (with a very long-lifetime) to another, significantly lighter DM particle χ, a small non-thermal but highly energetic population of DM may be created around energies E = mφ/2. If χ interacts with nucleons, it is possible that its cross-section, like the neutrino-nucleus coherent cross-section, may be undetectably small at low energies but may rise sharply with energy leading to deep inelastic scattering not dissimilar to neutral current neutrino- nucleon interactions. Thus, its direct detection may be possible via cascades in very large neutrino detectors. IceCube (IC) has recently reported three ultra-high energy PeV cascade events clustered around 1 − 2 PeV. We apply this notion to these events and discuss the features which may help discriminate this scenario from one in which only astrophysical neutrinos constitute the IC event sample.
Host: Barger
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