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Search for magnetic monopoles produced via the Schwinger mechanism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

B. Acharya, J. Alexandre, P. Benes, B. Bergmann, S. Bertolucci, A. Bevan, H. Branzas, P. Burian, M. Campbell, Y. M. Cho, M. de Montigny, A. De Roeck, J. R. Ellis, M. El Sawy, M. Fairbairn, D. Felea, M. Frank, O. Gould, J. Hays, A. M. Hirt & 47 more D. L.J. Ho, P. Q. Hung, J. Janecek, M. Kalliokoski, A. Korzenev, D. H. Lacarrère, C. Leroy, G. Levi, A. Lionti, A. Maulik, A. Margiotta, N. Mauri, N. E. Mavromatos, P. Mermod, L. Millward, V. A. Mitsou, I. Ostrovskiy, P. P. Ouimet, J. Papavassiliou, B. Parker, L. Patrizii, G. E. Păvălaş, J. L. Pinfold, L. A. Popa, V. Popa, M. Pozzato, S. Pospisil, A. Rajantie, R. Ruiz de Austri, Z. Sahnoun, M. Sakellariadou, A. Santra, S. Sarkar, G. Semenoff, A. Shaa, G. Sirri, K. Sliwa, R. Soluk, M. Spurio, M. Staelens, M. Suk, M. Tenti, V. Togo, J. A. Tuszyn'ski, A. Upreti, V. Vento, O. Vives

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume602
Issue number7895
DOIs
Accepted/In press1 Dec 2021
Published1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: We thank CERN for the LHC?s successful Run-2 operation, as well as the support staff from our institutions without whom MoEDAL could not be operated. We acknowledge the invaluable assistance of particular members of the LHCb Collaboration: G.?Wilkinson, R.?Lindner, E.?Thomas and G.?Corti. Computing support was provided by the GridPP Collaboration, in particular by the Queen Mary University of London and Liverpool grid sites. This work was supported by grant PP00P2 150583 of the Swiss NSF; by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council via the grants ST/L000326/1, ST/L00044X/1, ST/N00101X/1, ST/P000258/1, ST/P000762/1, ST/T000732/1, ST/T000759/1 and ST/T000791/1; by the Generalitat Valenciana via a special grant for MoEDAL and via the projects PROMETEO-II/2017/033 and PROMETEO/2019/087; by MCIU/AEI/FEDER, UE via the grants FPA2016-77177-C2-1-P, FPA2017-85985-P, FPA2017-84543-P and PGC2018-094856-B-I00; by the Physics Department of King?s College London; by NSERC via a project grant; by the V-P Research of the University of Alberta (UofA); by the Provost of the UofA; by UEFISCDI (Romania); by the INFN (Italy); by the Estonian Research Council via a Mobilitas Pluss grant MOBTT5; by the Research Funds of the University of Helsinki; and by the NSF grant 2011214 to the University of Alabama MoEDAL group. A.R. was also supported by Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology Associateship. Funding Information: We thank CERN for the LHC’s successful Run-2 operation, as well as the support staff from our institutions without whom MoEDAL could not be operated. We acknowledge the invaluable assistance of particular members of the LHCb Collaboration: G. Wilkinson, R. Lindner, E. Thomas and G. Corti. Computing support was provided by the GridPP Collaboration, in particular by the Queen Mary University of London and Liverpool grid sites. This work was supported by grant PP00P2 150583 of the Swiss NSF; by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council via the grants ST/L000326/1, ST/L00044X/1, ST/N00101X/1, ST/P000258/1, ST/P000762/1, ST/T000732/1, ST/T000759/1 and ST/T000791/1; by the Generalitat Valenciana via a special grant for MoEDAL and via the projects PROMETEO-II/2017/033 and PROMETEO/2019/087; by MCIU/AEI/FEDER, UE via the grants FPA2016-77177-C2-1-P, FPA2017-85985-P, FPA2017-84543-P and PGC2018-094856-B-I00; by the Physics Department of King’s College London; by NSERC via a project grant; by the V-P Research of the University of Alberta (UofA); by the Provost of the UofA; by UEFISCDI (Romania); by the INFN (Italy); by the Estonian Research Council via a Mobilitas Pluss grant MOBTT5; by the Research Funds of the University of Helsinki; and by the NSF grant 2011214 to the University of Alabama MoEDAL group. A.R. was also supported by Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology Associateship. Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

Documents

  • 2106.11933v2

    2106.11933v2.pdf, 1.82 MB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:12 May 2022

    Version:Submitted manuscript

King's Authors

Abstract

Electrically charged particles can be created by the decay of strong enough electric fields, a phenomenon known as the Schwinger mechanism1. By electromagnetic duality, a sufficiently strong magnetic field would similarly produce magnetic monopoles, if they exist2. Magnetic monopoles are hypothetical fundamental particles that are predicted by several theories beyond the standard model3-7 but have never been experimentally detected. Searching for the existence of magnetic monopoles via the Schwinger mechanism has not yet been attempted, but it is advantageous, owing to the possibility of calculating its rate through semi-classical techniques without perturbation theory, as well as that the production of the magnetic monopoles should be enhanced by their finite size8,9 and strong coupling to photons2,10. Here we present a search for magnetic monopole production by the Schwinger mechanism in Pb-Pb heavy ion collisions at the Large Hadron Collider, producing the strongest known magnetic fields in the current Universe11. It was conducted by the MoEDAL experiment, whose trapping detectors were exposed to 0.235 per nanobarn, or approximately 1.8 × 109, of Pb-Pb collisions with 5.02-teraelectronvolt center-of-mass energy per collision in November 2018. A superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometer scanned the trapping detectors of MoEDAL for the presence of magnetic charge, which would induce a persistent current in the SQUID. Magnetic monopoles with integer Dirac charges of 1, 2 and 3 and masses up to 75 gigaelectronvolts per speed of light squared were excluded by the analysis at the 95% confidence level. This provides a lower mass limit for finite-size magnetic monopoles from a collider search and greatly extends previous mass bounds.

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