Light scalars and dark photons in Borexino and LSND experiments

Maxim Pospelov, Yu Dai Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Bringing an external radioactive source close to a large underground detector can significantly advance sensitivity not only to sterile neutrinos but also to “dark” gauge bosons and scalars. Here we address in detail the sensitivity reach of the Borexino-SOX configuration, which will see a powerful (a few PBq) 144Ce–144Pr source installed next to the Borexino detector, to light scalar particles coupled to the SM fermions. The mass reach of this configuration is limited by the energy release in the radioactive γ-cascade, which in this particular case is 2.2 MeV. Within that reach one year of operations will achieve an unprecedented sensitivity to coupling constants of such scalars, reaching down to g∼10−7 levels and probing significant parts of parameter space not excluded by either beam dump constraints or astrophysical bounds. Should the current proton charge radius discrepancy be caused by the exchange of a MeV-mass scalar, then the simplest models will be decisively probed in this setup. We also update the beam dump constraints on light scalars and vectors, and in particular rule out dark photons with masses below 1 MeV, and couplings ϵ≥10−5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-295
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
StatePublished - Oct 10 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Drs. P. deNiverville and S. Zavatarelli for useful correspondence. We also thank Drs. J. Dror, R. Lasenby and B. Safdi for helpful discussions. Research at the Perimeter Institute is supported in part by the Government of Canada through NSERC and by the Province of Ontario through MEDT . YT was supported by the Visiting Graduate Fellow program at Perimeter Institute , U.S. National Science Foundation through grant PHY-1719877 , and Cornell graduate fellowship while parts of this work were completed.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Light scalars and dark photons in Borexino and LSND experiments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this