Searching for Lightweight Dark Matter in NOvA Near Detector
F. Jediny, A. Hatzikoutelis, S. Kotelnikov, B. Wang
The NOvA long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment is receiving record numbers of 120GeV protons on target from Fermilab's NuMI neutrino beam. We take advantage of our experiment’s sophisticated particle identification algorithms to search for Lightweight Dark Matter (LDM) in the first year of data from the Near Detector of NOvA (300-ton low-Z mass, placed off the beam axis) during the experiment’s first physics runs. Theoretical models of LDM predict that bellow-10GeV candidates produced in the NuMI target might scatter or decay in the NOvA Near Detector. We simulate an example of the Neutral Vector Portal model with the sensitivity estimate of 10e-39 cm2, which corresponds to O(10) LDM candidates per three years of data, looking at single electromagnetic showers between 5 and 15 GeV in a model independent way.