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Super-Heavy Dark Matter as a source of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays

Zeinstra, S.W. (2016) Super-Heavy Dark Matter as a source of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays. Bachelor's Thesis, Physics.

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We have studied superheavy dark matter as a possible source of ultra-high energy cosmic rays. Following the non-thermal instant preheating mechanism, superheavy dark matter can be created in the early universe, directly after inflation. The mass of these particles can range from $10^{14}$ to $10^{18}$ GeV. This mass is large enough to create cosmic rays with an energy above the GZK cut-off upon annihilation of two dark matter particles. Annihilation of dark matter is more prevalent near the core of the galactic dark halo, and in smaller, dense clumps called subhalos. An estimate of the annihilation cross section yielded a rather high upper limit on the order of $sigmasim 10^{-8} text{ cm}^2$. Around the GZK cut-off there might not be a clear correlation between the arrival direction of extra-galactic ultra-high energy cosmic rays, and the local matter distribution. This correlation could become significant for energies above $10^{20}$ eV. Observation of anisotropy on the galactic scale could also support this top-down model, but no anisotropy has been observed so far.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Physics
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:14
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:14

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