Plenty of antinucleons are produced in collisions at the LHC and the ALICE spectrometer allows to identify antideuterons, antiprotons, antitritons with momenta from 300 MeV/c to 50 GeV/c.
It turned out that these measurements can be very useful to understand quantitavely the background underlying the indirect detection of dark matter (DM) through annihilation processes as DM-AntiDM→hadron + antihadrons + … .
In particular, the production of low energy antinuclei seems to be particularly interesting for the possible detection of dark matter and hence the production of antinuclei stemming from cosmic rays and propagated thought the interstellar medium should be well under control.
What can we do in this field? As mentioned we produce a lot of antinuclei inside the ALICE detector, also low energy antinuclei with few hundred MeV momenta and those particles travel through the detector material, exactly like they travel in the interstellar medium above our heads once they are produced. Our idea is to exploit this induced production of antinuclei and propagation though a known detector material to estimate for the first time with high precision the inelastic cross-section of the low energy antinucleons and therefore being able to constrain the models that describe the background to the DM observation in astrophysics.