Searching for muonphilic dark sectors with proton beams


Proton beam-dump experiments are a high-intensity source of secondary muons and provide an opportunity to probe muon-specific dark sectors. We adopt a simplified-models framework for an exotic light scalar particle coupling predominantly or exclusively to muons. Equipped with state-of-the-art muon simulations, we compute the sensitivity reach in the parameter space $(m_{S}, \, g_{\mu})$ of the dark mediator, examining in detail the examples of the experiment NA62 in beam-dump mode and the proposed experiment SHiP. We find a significant yield of such exotics in the sub-GeV mass range. Our projections are competitive with those of primary muon-beam experiments and complementary to current constraints, spanning uncharted parameter space and accessing new physics potentially responsible for the $(g-2)_{\mu}$ anomaly.

Physical Review D, Volume 106 (2022), Issue 3, 035023, 13 pages