Revisiting the AMS-02 antiproton excess: The role of correlated errors
J. Heisig*, M. Korsmeier and M.W. Winkler
July 30, 2021
March 18, 2022
Cosmic-ray antiprotons are a remarkable diagnostic tool for the study of astroparticle physics' processes in our Galaxy. While the bulk of measured antiprotons is consistent with a secondary origin, several studies have found evidence for a subdominant primary component in the AMS-02 data. In this proceedings article, we revisit the excess considering systematic errors that could affect the signal. Of particular importance are unknown correlations in the AMS-02 systematic errors, the dominant of which are associated with the cross sections for cosmic-ray absorption in the detector. We compute their correlations in a careful reevaluation of nuclear scattering data, utilizing the Glauber-Gribov theory to introduce a welcomed redundancy that we explore in a global fit. The inclusion of correlated errors has a dramatic effect on the significance of the signal. In particular, the analysis becomes more sensitive to the diffusion model at low rigidities. For a minimal extension beyond single-power-law diffusion, the global significance drops below 1$\sigma$ severely questioning the robustness of the finding.
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