Publications by Subir Sarkar

Dark Matter Benchmark Models for Early LHC Run-2 Searches: Report of the ATLAS/CMS Dark Matter Forum


ATLAS-CMSDM ATLAS-CMS Dark Matter Forum, U Haisch, E Re, S Sarkar

This document is the final report of the ATLAS-CMS Dark Matter Forum, a forum organized by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations with the participation of experts on theories of Dark Matter, to select a minimal basis set of dark matter simplified models that should support the design of the early LHC Run-2 searches. A prioritized, compact set of benchmark models is proposed, accompanied by studies of the parameter space of these models and a repository of generator implementations. This report also addresses how to apply the Effective Field Theory formalism for collider searches and present the results of such interpretations.

Measurement of the Atmospheric $ν_e$ Spectrum with IceCube

Physical Review D American Physical Society D91 (2015) 122004-122004

MG Aartsen, K Abraham, M Ackermann, S Sarkar

We present a measurement of the atmospheric νe spectrum at energies between 0.1 and 100 TeV using data from the first year of the complete IceCube detector. Atmospheric νe originate mainly from the decays of kaons produced in cosmic-ray air showers. This analysis selects 1078 fully contained events in 332 days of live time, and then identifies those consistent with particle showers. A likelihood analysis with improved event selection extends our previous measurement of the conventional νe fluxes to higher energies. The data constrain the conventional νe flux to be 1.3-0.3+0.4 times a baseline prediction from a Honda's calculation, including the knee of the cosmic-ray spectrum. A fit to the kaon contribution (ξ) to the neutrino flux finds a kaon component that is ξ=1.3-0.4+0.5 times the baseline value. The fitted/measured prompt neutrino flux from charmed hadron decays strongly depends on the assumed astrophysical flux and shape. If the astrophysical component follows a power law, the result for the prompt flux is 0.0-0.0+3.0 times a calculated flux based on the work by Enberg, Reno, and Sarcevic.

Searches for time dependent neutrino sources with IceCube Data from 2008 to 2012

Astrophysical Journal IOP Publishing 807 (2015) 46-46

MG Aartsen, K Abraham, M Ackermann, S Sarkar

In this paper searches for flaring astrophysical neutrino sources and sources with periodic emission with the IceCube neutrino telescope are presented. In contrast to time-integrated searches, where steady emission is assumed, the analyses presented here look for a time-dependent signal of neutrinos using the information from the neutrino arrival times to enhance the discovery potential. A search was performed for correlations between neutrino arrival times and directions, as well as neutrino emission following time-dependent light curves, sporadic emission, or periodicities of candidate sources. These include active galactic nuclei, soft γ-ray repeaters, supernova remnants hosting pulsars, microquasars, and X-ray binaries. The work presented here updates and extends previously published results to a longer period that covers 4 years of data from 2008 April 5 to 2012 May 16, including the first year of operation of the completed 86 string detector. The analyses did not find any significant time-dependent point sources of neutrinos, and the results were used to set upper limits on the neutrino flux from source candidates.

On the interpretation of dark matter self-interactions in Abell 3827

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 452 (2015) L54–L58-

F Kahlhoefer, K Schmidt-Hoberg, J Kummer, S Sarkar

Self-interactions of dark matter particles can potentially lead to an observable separation between the dark matter halo and the stars of a galaxy moving through a region of large dark matter density. Such a separation has recently been observed in a galaxy falling into the core of the galaxy cluster Abell 3827. We estimated the DM self-interaction cross section needed to reproduce the observed effects and find that the sensitivity of Abell 3827 has been significantly overestimated in a previous study. Our corrected estimate is $\tilde{\sigma}/m_\text{DM} \sim 3\:\text{cm}^2\:\text{g}^{-1}$ when self-interactions result in an effective drag force and $\sigma/m_\text{DM} \sim 1.5\:\text{cm}^2\:\text{g}^{-1}$ for the case of contact interactions, in some tension with previous upper bounds.

Flavor Ratio of Astrophysical Neutrinos above 35 TeV in IceCube

Physical Review Letters American Physical Society 114 (2015) 1-8

M Ackermann, J Adams, S Sarkar

A diffuse flux of astrophysical neutrinos above 100 TeV has been observed at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Here we extend this analysis to probe the astrophysical flux down to 35 TeV and analyze its flavor composition by classifying events as showers or tracks. Taking advantage of lower atmospheric backgrounds for showerlike events, we obtain a shower-biased sample containing 129 showers and 8 tracks collected in three years from 2010 to 2013. We demonstrate consistency with the (fe:fμ:fτ)⊕≈(1:1:1)⊕ flavor ratio at Earth commonly expected from the averaged oscillations of neutrinos produced by pion decay in distant astrophysical sources. Limits are placed on nonstandard flavor compositions that cannot be produced by averaged neutrino oscillations but could arise in exotic physics scenarios. A maximally tracklike composition of (0:1:0)⊕ is excluded at 3.3σ, and a purely showerlike composition of (1:0:0)⊕ is excluded at 2.3σ.

How rare is the Bullet Cluster (in a ΛCDM universe)?

Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics IOP Publishing 1504 (2015) 050-050

D Kraljic, S Sarkar

The Bullet Cluster (1E 0657-56) is well-known as providing visual evidence of dark matter but it is potentially incompatible with the standard ΛCDM cosmology due to the high relative velocity of the two colliding clusters. Previous studies have focussed on the probability of such a high relative velocity amongst selected candidate systems. This notion of 'probability' is however difficult to interpret and can lead to paradoxical results. Instead, we consider the expected number of Bullet-like systems on the sky up to a specified redshift, which allows for direct comparison with observations. Using a Hubble volume N-body simulation with high resolution we investigate how the number of such systems depends on the masses of the halo pairs, their separation, and collisional angle. This enables us to extract an approximate formula for the expected number of halo-halo collisions given specific collisional parameters. We use extreme value statistics to analyse the tail of the pairwise velocity distribution and demonstrate that it is fatter than the previously assumed Gaussian form. We estimate that the number of dark matter halo pairs as or more extreme than 1E 0657-56 in mass, separation and relative velocity is 1.3<sup>+2.0</sup><inf>-0.6</inf> up to redshift z = 0.3. However requiring the halos to have collided and passed through each other as is observed decreases this number to only 0.1. The discovery of more such systems would thus indeed present a challenge to the standard cosmology.

Simplified Models for Dark Matter Searches at the LHC


J Abdallah, E others, R Lucas, M Thomas, I Tomalin, M Wielers, S Worm, B Feldstein, U Haisch, E Re, A Hibbs, S Sarkar

This document outlines a set of simplified models for dark matter and its interactions with Standard Model particles. It is intended to summarize the main characteristics that these simplified models have when applied to dark matter searches at the LHC, and to provide a number of useful expressions for reference. The list of models includes both s-channel and t-channel scenarios. For s-channel, spin-0 and spin-1 mediation is discussed, and also realizations where the Higgs particle provides a portal between the dark and visible sectors. The guiding principles underpinning the proposed simplified models are spelled out, and some suggestions for implementation are presented.

Determining neutrino oscillation parameters from atmospheric muon neutrino disappearance with three years of IceCube DeepCore data

Phys. Rev. American Physical Society D91 (2015) 072004-072004

S Sarkar

We present a measurement of neutrino oscillations via atmospheric muon neutrino disappearance with three years of data of the completed IceCube neutrino detector. DeepCore, a region of denser instrumentation, enables the detection and reconstruction of atmospheric muon neutrinos between 10 GeV and 100 GeV, where a strong disappearance signal is expected. The detector volume surrounding DeepCore is used as a veto region to suppress the atmospheric muon background. Neutrino events are selected where the detected Cherenkov photons of the secondary particles minimally scatter, and the neutrino energy and arrival direction are reconstructed. Both variables are used to obtain the neutrino oscillation parameters from the data, with the best fit given by $\Delta m^2_{32}=2.72^{+0.19}_{-0.20}\times 10^{-3}\,\mathrm{eV}^2$ and $\sin^2\theta_{23} = 0.53^{+0.09}_{-0.12}$ (normal mass hierarchy assumed). The results are compatible and comparable in precision to those of dedicated oscillation experiments.

Atmospheric and astrophysical neutrinos above 1 TeV interacting in IceCube

Physical Review D American Physical Society D91 (2015) 022001-022001

S Sarkar

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory was designed primarily to search for high-energy (TeV--PeV) neutrinos produced in distant astrophysical objects. A search for $\gtrsim 100$~TeV neutrinos interacting inside the instrumented volume has recently provided evidence for an isotropic flux of such neutrinos. At lower energies, IceCube collects large numbers of neutrinos from the weak decays of mesons in cosmic-ray air showers. Here we present the results of a search for neutrino interactions inside IceCube's instrumented volume between 1~TeV and 1~PeV in 641 days of data taken from 2010--2012, lowering the energy threshold for neutrinos from the southern sky below 10 TeV for the first time, far below the threshold of the previous high-energy analysis. Astrophysical neutrinos remain the dominant component in the southern sky down to 10 TeV. From these data we derive new constraints on the diffuse astrophysical neutrino spectrum, $\Phi_{\nu} = 2.06^{+0.4}_{-0.3} \times 10^{-18} \left({E_{\nu}}/{10^5 \,\, \rm{GeV}} \right)^{-2.46 \pm 0.12} {\rm {GeV^{-1} \, cm^{-2} \, sr^{-1} \, s^{-1}} } $, as well as the strongest upper limit yet on the flux of neutrinos from charmed-meson decay in the atmosphere, 1.52 times the benchmark theoretical prediction used in previous IceCube results at 90\% confidence.

Multipole analysis of IceCube data to search for dark matter accumulated in the Galactic halo

European Physical Journal C Springer Berlin Heidelberg C75 (2015) 20-20

S Sarkar

Dark matter which is bound in the Galactic halo might self-annihilate and produce a flux of stable final state particles, e.g. high energy neutrinos. These neutrinos can be detected with IceCube, a cubic-kilometer sized Cherenkov detector. Given IceCube's large field of view, a characteristic anisotropy of the additional neutrino flux is expected. In this paper we describe a multipole method to search for such a large-scale anisotropy in IceCube data. This method uses the expansion coefficients of a multipole expansion of neutrino arrival directions and incorporates signal-specific weights for each expansion coefficient. We apply the technique to a high-purity muon neutrino sample from the Northern Hemisphere. The final result is compatible with the null-hypothesis. As no signal was observed, we present limits on the self-annihilation cross-section averaged over the relative velocity distribution $&lt;\sigma v&gt;$ down to $1.9\cdot 10^{-23}\,\mathrm{cm}^3\mathrm{s}^{-1}$ for a dark matter particle mass of $700\,\mathrm{GeV}$ to $1000\,\mathrm{GeV}$ and direct annihilation into $\nu\bar{\nu}$. The resulting exclusion limits come close to exclusion limits from $\gamma$-ray experiments, that focus on the outer Galactic halo, for high dark matter masses of a few TeV and hard annihilation channels.

Search for Prompt Neutrino Emission from Gamma-Ray Bursts with IceCube

Astrophysical Journal Letters IOP Publishing 805 (2015) L5-L5

M Ackermann, J Adams, S Sarkar

© 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.. We present constraints derived from a search of four years of IceCube data for a prompt neutrino flux from gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). A single low-significance neutrino, compatible with the atmospheric neutrino background, was found in coincidence with one of the 506 observed bursts. Although GRBs have been proposed as candidate sources for ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, our limits on the neutrino flux disfavor much of the parameter space for the latest models. We also find that no more than ∼1% of the recently observed astrophysical neutrino flux consists of prompt emission from GRBs that are potentially observable by existing satellites.

Multipole analysis of IceCube data to search for dark matter accumulated in the Galactic halo: IceCube Collaboration

European Physical Journal C (2015)

M Ackermann, J Adams, JA Aguilar, M Ahlers, M Ahrens, D Altmann, T Anderson, C Arguelles, TC Arlen, J Auffenberg, X Bai, SW Barwick, V Baum, JJ Beatty, J Becker Tjus, KH Becker, S BenZvi, P Berghaus, D Berley, E Bernardini, A Bernhard, DZ Besson, G Binder, D Bindig

© 2015, The Author(s). Dark matter which is bound in the Galactic halo might self-annihilate and produce a flux of stable final state particles, e.g. high energy neutrinos. These neutrinos can be detected with IceCube, a cubic-kilometer sized Cherenkov detector. Given IceCube’s large field of view, a characteristic anisotropy of the additional neutrino flux is expected. In this paper we describe a multipole method to search for such a large-scale anisotropy in IceCube data. This method uses the expansion coefficients of a multipole expansion of neutrino arrival directions and incorporates signal-specific weights for each expansion coefficient. We apply the technique to a high-purity muon neutrino sample from the Northern Hemisphere. The final result is compatible with the null-hypothesis. As no signal was observed, we present limits on the self-annihilation cross-section averaged over the relative velocity distribution (Formula Presented.) down to ([Formula Presented.) for a dark matter particle mass of 700–1,000 GeV and direct annihilation into (Formula Presented.). The resulting exclusion limits come close to exclusion limits from γ-ray experiments, that focus on the outer Galactic halo, for high dark matter masses of a few TeV and hard annihilation channels.

Full-sky analysis of cosmic-ray anisotropy with IceCube and HAWC

Proceedings of Science 30-July-2015 (2015)

JC Díaz-Vélez, D Fiorino, P Desiati, S Westerhoff, E De La Fuente

During the past two decades, experiments in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres have observed a small but measurable energy-dependent sidereal anisotropy in the arrival direction distribution of galactic cosmic rays. The relative amplitude of the anisotropy is 10-4 -10-3. However, each of these individual measurements is restricted by limited sky coverage, and so the pseudo-power spectrum of the anisotropy obtained from any one measurement displays a systematic correlation between different multipole modes C. To address this issue, we present the preliminary status of a joint analysis of the anisotropy on all angular scales using cosmic-ray data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory located at the South Pole (90 S) and the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Observatory located at Sierra Negra, Mexico (19 N). We describe the methods used to combine the IceCube and HAWC data, address the individual detector systematics and study the region of overlapping field of view between the two observatories.

Development of a general analysis and unfolding scheme and its application to measure the energy spectrum of atmospheric neutrinos with IceCube

European Physical Journal C Springer Berlin Heidelberg C75 (2015) 116-116

S Sarkar

We present the development and application of a generic analysis scheme for the measurement of neutrino spectra with the IceCube detector. This scheme is based on regularized unfolding, preceded by an event selection which uses a Minimum Redundancy Maximum Relevance algorithm to select the relevant variables and a random forest for the classification of events. The analysis has been developed using IceCube data from the 59-string configuration of the detector. 27,771 neutrino candidates were detected in 346 days of livetime. A rejection of 99.9999 % of the atmospheric muon background is achieved. The energy spectrum of the atmospheric neutrino flux is obtained using the TRUEE unfolding program. The unfolded spectrum of atmospheric muon neutrinos covers an energy range from 100 GeV to 1 PeV. Compared to the previous measurement using the detector in the 40-string configuration, the analysis presented here, extends the upper end of the atmospheric neutrino spectrum by more than a factor of two, reaching an energy region that has not been previously accessed by spectral measurements.

Searches for small-scale anisotropies from neutrino point sources with three years of IceCube data

Astroparticle Physics Elsevier 66 (2015) 39-52

S Sarkar

Recently, IceCube found evidence for a diffuse signal of astrophysical neutrinos in an energy range of $60\,\mathrm{TeV}$ to the $\mathrm{PeV}$-scale. The origin of those events, being a key to understanding the origin of cosmic rays, is still an unsolved question. So far, analyses have not succeeded to resolve the diffuse signal into point-like sources. Searches including a maximum-likelihood-ratio test, based on the reconstructed directions and energies of the detected down- and up-going neutrino candidates, were also performed on IceCube data leading to the exclusion of bright point sources. In this paper, we present two methods to search for faint neutrino point sources in three years of IceCube data, taken between 2008 and 2011. The first method is an autocorrelation test, applied separately to the northern and southern sky. The second method is a multipole analysis, which expands the measured data in the northern hemisphere into spherical harmonics and uses the resulting expansion coefficients to separate signal from background. With both methods, the results are consistent with the background expectation with a slightly more sparse spatial distribution, corresponding to an underfluctuation. Depending on the assumed number of sources, the resulting upper limit on the flux per source in the northern hemisphere for an $E^{-2}$ energy spectrum ranges from $1.5 \cdot 10^{-8}\,\mathrm{GeV}/(\mathrm{cm}^2 \mathrm{s})$, in the case of one assumed source, to $4 \cdot 10^{-10} \,\mathrm{GeV}/(\mathrm{cm}^2 \mathrm{s})$, in the case of $3500$ assumed sources.

IceCube-Gen2: A Vision for the Future of Neutrino Astronomy in Antarctica


S Sarkar

The recent observation by the IceCube neutrino observatory of an astrophysical flux of neutrinos represents the “first light” in the nascent field of neutrino astronomy. The observed diffuse neutrino flux seems to suggest a much larger level of hadronic activity in the non-thermal universe than previously thought and suggests a rich discovery potential for a larger neutrino observatory. This document presents a vision for an substantial expansion of the current IceCube detector, IceCubeGen2 , including the aim of instrumenting a 10 km3 volume of clear glacial ice at the South Pole to deliver substantial increases in the astrophysical neutrino sample for all flavors. A detector of this size would have a rich physics program with the goal to resolve the sources of these astrophysical neutrinos, discover GZK neutrinos, and be a leading observatory in future multi-messenger astronomy programs.

A hadronic explanation of the lepton anomaly

Journal of Physics: Conference Series IOP Publishing 531 (2014) 012008-012008

P Mertsch, S Sarkar

The rise in the positron fraction, observed by PAMELA, Fermi-LAT and most recently by AMS-02, has created a lot of interest, fuelled by speculations about an origin in dark matter annihilation in the Galactic halo. However, other channels, e.g. antiprotons or gamma-rays, now severely constrain dark matter interpretations, thus requiring astrophysical sources of positrons. We have investigated the possibility that supernova remnants, the most likely sources of Galactic cosmic rays, can in fact also produce a hard spectrum of secondary positrons, by spallation and acceleration at the shock. This mechanism is guaranteed if hadronic CRs are present and would also lead to observable signatures in other secondary channels like the boron-to-carbon or antiproton-to-proton ratios. If such features were borne out by upcoming AMS-02 data, this would rule out other explanations.

Observation of high-energy astrophysical neutrinos in three years of IceCube data

Physical Review Letters American Physical Society 113 (2014) 101101-101101

S Sarkar

A search for high-energy neutrinos interacting within the IceCube detector between 2010 and 2012 provided the first evidence for a high-energy neutrino flux of extraterrestrial origin. Results from an analysis using the same methods with a third year (2012-2013) of data from the complete IceCube detector are consistent with the previously reported astrophysical flux in the 100 TeV-PeV range at the level of 10(-8)  GeV cm-2 s-1 sr-1 per flavor and reject a purely atmospheric explanation for the combined three-year data at 5.7σ. The data are consistent with expectations for equal fluxes of all three neutrino flavors and with isotropic arrival directions, suggesting either numerous or spatially extended sources. The three-year data set, with a live time of 988 days, contains a total of 37 neutrino candidate events with deposited energies ranging from 30 to 2000 TeV. The 2000-TeV event is the highest-energy neutrino interaction ever observed.

Multimessenger search for sources of gravitational waves and high-energy neutrinos: Initial results for LIGO-Virgo and IceCube

Physical Review D American Physical Society D90 (2014) 102002-102002

S Sarkar

We report the results of a multimessenger search for coincident signals from the LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave observatories and the partially completed IceCube high-energy neutrino detector, including periods of joint operation between 2007-2010. These include parts of the 2005-2007 run and the 2009-2010 run for LIGO-Virgo, and IceCube's observation periods with 22, 59 and 79 strings. We find no significant coincident events, and use the search results to derive upper limits on the rate of joint sources for a range of source emission parameters. For the optimistic assumption of gravitational-wave emission energy of $10^{-2}$\,M$_\odot$c$^2$ at $\sim 150$\,Hz with $\sim 60$\,ms duration, and high-energy neutrino emission of $10^{51}$\,erg comparable to the isotropic gamma-ray energy of gamma-ray bursts, we limit the source rate below $1.6 \times 10^{-2}$\,Mpc$^{-3}$yr$^{-1}$. We also examine how combining information from gravitational waves and neutrinos will aid discovery in the advanced gravitational-wave detector era.

Searches for extended and point-like neutrino sources with four years of IceCube data

Astrophysical Journal IOP Publishing 796 (2014) 109-

S Sarkar

We present results on searches for point-like sources of neutrinos using four years of IceCube data, including the first year of data from the completed 86-string detector. The total livetime of the combined dataset is 1,373 days. For an E$^{-2}$ spectrum the median sensitivity at 90\% C.L. is $\sim 10^{-12}$ TeV$^{-1}$cm$^{-2}$s$^{-1}$ for energies between 1 TeV$-$1 PeV in the northern sky and $\sim 10^{-11}$ TeV$^{-1}$cm$^{-2}$s$^{-1}$ for energies between 100 TeV $-$ 100 PeV in the southern sky. The sensitivity has improved from both the additional year of data and the introduction of improved reconstructions compared to previous publications. In addition, we present the first results from an all-sky search for extended sources of neutrinos. We update results of searches for neutrino emission from stacked catalogs of sources, and test five new catalogs; two of Galactic supernova remnants and three of active galactic nuclei. In all cases, the data are compatible with the background-only hypothesis, and upper limits on the flux of muon neutrinos are reported for the sources considered.