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Discriminating the source of high-energy positrons with AMS-02


Pato, M; Lattanzi, M; Bertone, G (2010). Discriminating the source of high-energy positrons with AMS-02. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, (12):20-44.

Abstract

We study the prospects for discriminating between the dark matter (DM) and pulsar origin of the PAMELA positron excess with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer AMS-02. We simulate the response of AMS-02 to positrons (and electrons) originating from DM annihilations, and determine the pulsar parameters (spin-down luminosity, distance and characteristic age) that produce a satisfactory fit to the mock AMS-02 data. It turns out that it is always possible to mimic a DM signal with pulsars. Although the fit in some cases requires values of spin-down luminosity and characteristic age different from those of known pulsars in the ATNF and Fermi-LAT catalogues, these catalogues are known to be incomplete, and therefore the pulsar interpretation can hardly be ruled out. We also show that if the positron excess is due to a single pulsar, it is always possible to find a DM candidate that provides a good fit to the mock AMS-02 data. The discrimination between the two scenarios will thus require a better knowledge of the underlying sources, or complementary data.

We study the prospects for discriminating between the dark matter (DM) and pulsar origin of the PAMELA positron excess with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer AMS-02. We simulate the response of AMS-02 to positrons (and electrons) originating from DM annihilations, and determine the pulsar parameters (spin-down luminosity, distance and characteristic age) that produce a satisfactory fit to the mock AMS-02 data. It turns out that it is always possible to mimic a DM signal with pulsars. Although the fit in some cases requires values of spin-down luminosity and characteristic age different from those of known pulsars in the ATNF and Fermi-LAT catalogues, these catalogues are known to be incomplete, and therefore the pulsar interpretation can hardly be ruled out. We also show that if the positron excess is due to a single pulsar, it is always possible to find a DM candidate that provides a good fit to the mock AMS-02 data. The discrimination between the two scenarios will thus require a better knowledge of the underlying sources, or complementary data.

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15 citations in Web of Science®
18 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:December 2010
Deposited On:01 Mar 2011 08:00
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:32
Publisher:Institute of Physics Publishing
ISSN:1475-7516
Publisher DOI:10.1088/1475-7516/2010/12/020
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/1010.5236
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-41576

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