Search for the Neutron Decay n→X+γ , Where X is a Dark Matter Particle

Fornal and Grinstein recently proposed that the discrepancy between two different methods of neutron lifetime measurements, the beam and bottle methods, can be explained by a previously unobserved dark matter decay mode, n → X + γ . We perform a search for this decay mode over the allowed range of energies of the monoenergetic γ ray for X to be dark matter. A Compton-suppressed high-purity germanium detector is used to identify γ rays from neutron decay in a nickel-phosphorous-coated stainless-steel bottle. A combination of Monte Carlo and radioactive source calibrations is used to determine the absolute efficiency for detecting γ rays arising from the dark matter decay mode. We exclude the possibility of a sufficiently strong branch to explain the lifetime discrepancy with 97% confidence.

Publication Date:
Jul 11 2018
Date Submitted:
Jun 28 2019
Physical Review Letters
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 Record created 2019-06-28, last modified 2019-08-06

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