Are the recent IceCube events hinting at O(100) TeV decaying dark matter?

The IceCube detector has recently reported the observation of 28 events at previously unexplored energies. While the statistics of the observed events are still low, these events hint at the existence of a neutrino flux over and above the atmospheric neutrino background. We investigate the possibility that a significant component of the additional neutrino flux originates due to the decay of a very heavy dark matter (VHDM) particle via several possible channels into standard model particles. We show that a combination of a power law astrophysical neutrino spectrum and the neutrino flux from the decay of a DM species of mass in the range 150-400 TeV improves the fit to the observed neutrino events than that obtained from a best-fit astrophysical flux alone. Assuming the existence of an astrophysical background described by the IC best-fit, we also show that, for the decay of even heavier DM particles ($m_{\text{DM}} \sim 1$ PeV), the same observations impose significant constraints on the decay lifetimes. Allowing the astrophysical flux normalization to vary leads to modifications of these limits; however, there is still a range of dark matter mass and lifetime that is excluded by the IC results.

Event Type: 
Seminar
Collection/Series: 
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Event Date: 
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 13:00 to 14:30
Location: 
Alice Room