We present dark tridents, a new channel for exploring dark sectors in short-baseline neutrino experiments. Dark tridents are clean, distinct events where, like neutrino tridents, the scattering of a very weakly coupled particle leads to the production of a lepton-antilepton pair. Dark trident production occurs in models where long-lived dark-sector particles are produced along with the neutrinos in a beam-dump environment and interact with neutrino detectors downstream, producing an on-shell boson which decays into a pair of charged leptons. We focus on a simple model where the dark matter particle interacts with the standard model exclusively through a dark photon, and concentrate on the region of parameter space where the dark photon mass is smaller than twice that of the dark matter particle and hence decays exclusively into standard-model particles. We compute event rates and discuss search strategies for dark tridents from dark matter at the current and upcoming liquid argon detectors aligned with the Booster beam at Fermilab — MicroBooNE, SBND, and ICARUS — assuming the dark sector particles are produced off-axis in the higher energy NuMI beam. We find that MicroBooNE has already recorded enough data to be competitive with existing bounds on this dark sector model, and that new regions of parameter space will be probed with future data and experiments.
- Beyond Standard Model
- Neutrino Physics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics