Antinuclei in the Universe?

7 February - 4 March 2022

Kfir Blum, Laura Fabbietti, Alejandro Ibarra, Stephan Paul, Stefan Schael

Cosmic-ray particles are a valuable probe of galactic processes. Correct interpretation of new data has potential for breakthrough results, such as the solution of the puzzle of cosmic-ray origin and the discovery of the effects of dark matter annihilation. The theoretical understanding of composite (anti-)nuclei formation in hadronic collisions, while tightly connected to the astrophysical application, is of interest in its own right.

The precise measurement of anti-nuclei, like antiprotons, antideuterons, or anti-helium, is particularly informative since these particles are expected to be only rarely produced in conventional reactions. However, the interpretation of these measurements requires a good understanding of all involved processes to distinguish potential exotic contributions from ordinary production: The production and absorption cross-sections of anti-nuclei, which can be measured at collider-based experiments such as the LHC, BELLE-II, or at fixed target experiments such as NA61/Shine or at the FAIR facility; and the transport and propagation of the produced anti-nuclei through the galaxy and the influence of the magnetic fields of the Sun and Earth.

Both inputs are currently poorly constrained and hinder a conclusive interpretation of newly available measurements. This MIAPP program will bring together experts working on the different sections of the interpretation-chain and to discuss future efforts on the phenomenological and experimental side. This will help to reduce the uncertainties of cosmic-ray anti-nuclei measurements and allow a conclusive interpretation of both existing and new high-statistics measurements with potential for breakthrough results.

Additionally, a roadmap for future space-based experiments will be elaborated.