The cosmic antiproton puzzle
November 14, 2022
June 15, 2023
Cosmic rays antiprotons are believed to be mainly produced by the interaction of primary cosmic rays (p, He, and nuclei with Z>2) with the interstellar medium. In the last decade, thanks to high precision measurements by AMS-02 and PAMELA, a possible tension between the observed antiproton flux and different predictive models of anti-proton secondary production has been highlighted in the kinetic energy range between 1 and 500 GeV. A discrepancy that has been tentatively associated to dark matter annihilation.
However, in the 10 to 100 GeV range, the model predictions suffer from severe uncertainties coming from the limited knowledge of the antiproton production cross section, with pp, pHe and Hep interaction channels being responsible for the majority of the produced cosmic antiprotons.
Future measurements, as the ones that will be done by the COMPASS++/AMBER experiment, will improve the situation with incoming pHe collisions data.
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