Black holes from cosmic rays: Probes of extra dimensions and new limits on TeV-scale gravity

Luis A. Anchordoqui, Jonathan L. Feng, Haim Goldberg, Alfred D. Shapere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Scopus citations

Abstract

If extra spacetime dimensions and low-scale gravity exist, black holes will be produced in observable collisions of elementary particles. For the next several years, ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays provide the most promising window on this phenomenon. In particular, cosmic neutrinos can produce black holes deep in the Earth's atmosphere, leading to quasihorizontal giant air showers. We determine the sensitivity of cosmic ray detectors to black hole production and compare the results to other probes of extra dimensions. With n≥4 extra dimensions, current bounds on deeply penetrating showers from AGASA already provide the most stringent bound on low-scale gravity, requiring a fundamental Planck scale MD > 1.3-1.8 TeV. The Auger Observatory will probe MD as large as 4 TeV and may observe on the order of a hundred black holes in 5 years. We also consider the implications of angular momentum and possible exponentially suppressed parton cross sections; including these effects, large black hole rates are still possible. Finally, we demonstrate that even if only a few black hole events are observed, a standard model interpretation may be excluded by comparison with Earth-skimming neutrino rates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124027
JournalPhysical review D
Volume65
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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