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A Search for Fast Moving Magnetic Monopoles with the MACRO Detector


Liu, Rongzhi (1995) A Search for Fast Moving Magnetic Monopoles with the MACRO Detector. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/AHSF-V351.


From Dirac monopole theory to modern GUT's (Grand Unified Theories), magnetic monopoles have attracted much attention from physicists. While Dirac had demonstrated the consistency of magnetic monopoles with quantum eletrodynamics, 't Hooft and Polyakov demonstrated the necessity of monopoles in GUT's. Furthermore, the GUT's supply more clues about magnetic monopoles, including their exceptionally heavy masses ~1016 GeV. Both current theories and previous monopole experiments have suggested that the flux of magnetic monopoles is likely to be very small, so it is necessary to have a large area detector to search for them. This thesis presents a search for fast moving magnetic monopoles with the MACRO detector.

The MACRO detector is a large underground detector located at Gran Sasso, Italy. Its primary goal is to search for magnetic monopoles at a flux level beyond the Parker bound. It is underground at 3,000 meters water equivalent depth, with a nominal acceptance of 10,000 m2 sr. It employs liquid scintillator counters, streamer tubes and track-etch detectors which can supply both independent and cross checks for fast monopole candidate events.

This search is mainly based on the liquid scintillator counters with primary event selection and energy reconstruction from the ERP system. The 6.2 μs trigger time is based on the time of flight of a fast moving monopole diagonally through one supermodule with a velocity ~10-2c. The search uses the "six-month-run" data which were taken from December of 1992 to July of 1993 with the operation of the lower part of the detector. With energy reconstruction ability up to 8 GeV with 22% error, we apply a double-face high energy requirement to reject most muon events from the data sample. We then apply the WFD, streamer tube and strip information to reject non-monopole events.

The live time for this analysis is 5,300 hours, with acceptance of 4050 m2 sr. With no fast monopole candidate event found, we establish an upper flux limit for the fast moving magnetic monopole at 90% confidence level of 3.03 x 10-15 cm-2sr-1s-1 for velocities from 10-2c to 1.0c.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Physics and Electrical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Minor Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Barish, Barry C. (advisor)
  • Peck, Charles W. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:27 February 1995
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10232007-094957
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4220
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:23 Oct 2007
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 23:51

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