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Letters to Nature
Nature 317, 411 - 413 (03 October 1985); doi:10.1038/317411a0

Photinos from cosmic sources

V. J. Stenger

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA

In supersymmetric (SUSY) theories1, the photino is the fermion partner of the photon and is expected to be the lightest stable particle. Despite many discussions of the possible production of photinos, and other supersymmetric particles, at existing and proposed accelerators2, so far, experiments have only set limits3,4. We propose here that photinos are produced by sources of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. We specifically consider Cygnus X-3, which is a powerful source of neutral particles up to 104 TeV (refs 5–8). These are usually assumed to be γ rays, but there is no direct evidence for this, and shower5,6 and underground9,10 experiments suggest that there may be another component present. Here we estimate that a photino flux of the order of 10−14 cm−2 s−1 above 10 TeV is possible from a source such as Cyg X-3, under certain conditions, and consider the feasibility of detecting these photinos.

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