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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Searching for Q-balls with the High Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory
Date: Thursday, February 6th
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Peter Karn, UC Irvine
Abstract: The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Observatory is a gamma-ray experiment currently under construction at Sierra Negra in Mexico. When complete it will consist of a 22,000 square meter array of 300 water Cherenkov detectors. Although HAWC is designed to study gamma rays from galactic and extra-galactic sources, the large volume of instrumented water (each tank holds ~188,000 liters) gives the opportunity to search for rare objects. One such target is the Q-ball, a very massive, subrelativistic particle that can have a large baryon number and can be stable since their creation in the early universe. If stable, Q-balls would make up some of the dark matter of the universe, but their large mass means their flux is very low. HAWC has a flexible data acquisition system which, with a dedicated trigger algorithm for non-relativistic species, allows a search for Q-balls traversing the detector. The Q-ball trigger, simulation, and analysis will be presented.
Host: Vandenbroucke
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