Detecting dark matter with far-forward emulsion and liquid argon detectors at the LHC
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.103.075023
New light particles may be produced in large numbers in the far-forward region at the LHC and then decay to dark matter, which can be detected through its scattering in far-forward experiments. We consider the example of invisibly decaying dark photons, which decay to dark matter through A′→χχ. The dark matter may then be detected through its scattering off electrons χe-→χe-. We consider the discovery potential of detectors placed on the beam collision axis 480 m from the ATLAS interaction point, including an emulsion detector (FASERν2) and, for the first time, a Forward Liquid Argon Experiment (FLArE). For each of these detector technologies, we devise cuts that effectively separate the single e- signal from the leading neutrino- and muon-induced backgrounds. We find that 10- to 100-tonne detectors may detect hundreds to thousands of dark matter events in the high-luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) era and will sensitively probe the thermal relic region of parameter space. These results motivate the construction of far-forward emulsion and liquid argon detectors at the LHC, as well as a suitable location to accommodate them, such as the proposed Forward Physics Facility.