• A search for heavy leptons in cosmic radiation underground

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    • Keywords


      New particles; heavy leptons; sub-relative particles in cosmic radiation

    • Abstract


      An experiment to search massive long-lived, weakly interacting particles (leptons) in cosmic radiation has been conducted at Kolar Gold Fields at a depth of 7.6 hg cm−2 (1 hg cm−2=100 g cm−2) below surface. The apparatus was senstive to sub-relativistic (velocity<0.75 c) charged leptons of mass greater than that of a proton and life times greater than a microsecond. The method consists of selecting charged particles using a scintillator counter telescope and vetoing relativistic particles (velocity >0.75 c) by using a water Čerenkov detector. The range of the particle is observed in arrays of neon flash tubes interspersed with iron absorbers. During 3000 hours of observation 28 events were recorded satisfying the trigger and event selection criteria. Bulk of these events were interpreted as due to recoil protons (low energy) from the inelastic scattering of high energy muons in the overhead absorber. The remaining events were interpreted as either atmospheric stopping protons or stopping muons that failed to generate a Čerenkov signal. The observed events are thus consistent with the background and no heavy leptons were seen. From our observations an upper limit of 2.12×10−7 (with 90% confidence level) is set on the ratio of the flux of heavy leptons to that of all muons at this depth.

    • Author Affiliations


      P N Bhat1 P V Ramana Murty1

      1. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay - 400 005
    • Dates

  • Pramana – Journal of Physics | News

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