Search for ultrarelativistic magnetic monopoles with the Pierre Auger Observatory

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We present a search for ultrarelativistic magnetic monopoles with the Pierre Auger observatory. Suchparticles, possibly a relic of phase transitions in the early Universe, would deposit a large amount of energyalong their path through the atmosphere, comparable to that of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs).The air-shower profile of a magnetic monopole can be effectively distinguished by the fluorescencedetector from that of standard UHECRs. No candidate was found in the data collected between 2004 and2012, with an expected background of less than 0.1 event from UHECRs. The corresponding90% confidence level (C.L.) upper limits on the flux of ultrarelativistic magnetic monopoles range from10^−19(cm2 sr s)^−1 for a Lorentz factor γ = 10^9 to 2.5 × 10−21(cm2 sr s)^−1 for γ = 10^12. These results—thefirst obtained with a UHECR detector—improve previously published limits by up to an order ofmagnitude.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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