The GAPS Experiment: Hunting for Dark Matter with Antideuterons

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Proceedings of 33rd International Cosmic Ray Conference

Publication Date



The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) experiment is an indirect dark matter search that aims to detect low-energy antideuterons resulting from dark matter annihilations in the galactic halo. This signature, which has negligible conventional astrophysical background, is predicted by many models of both supersymmetry and extra-dimensional theories. Until now, an optimized low-energy search experiment has been lacking. In this contribution, the scientific and experimental case for GAPS will be reviewed, and its complementarity with existing indirect and direct search experiments will be discussed. We will describe the design of GAPS, which consists of a time-of-flight system and layers of Si(Li) detectors in a tracking geometry designed specifically for low-energy antideuteron detection. The results of our successful prototype balloon flight (pGAPS), which flew from Japan in June 2012 and met 100% of its mission goals, as well as the path forward to a science flight of GAPS from Antarctica, will be presented.


Worked with 15 other co-authors.