The triplet photoproduction on a free electron as a possible way to search for a dark photon.
The process of the triplet production on a free electron, $\gamma e^-\to e^+e^-e^-$, has been investigated as a reaction where a dark photon, $A'$, is produced as a virtual state with subsequent decay into a $e^+e^-$-pair. This effect arises due to the so-called kinetic mixing and is characterized by the small parameter $\epsilon$ describing the coupling strength relative to the electric charge e.
The search of $A'$ in this process has advantage because the background to the $A'$ signal is pure QED. This QED background is described by eight Feynman diagrams taking into account the identity of final electrons. As concern $A'$, we leave its contribution in Compton-like diagrams only since, in this case, the virtual dark photon is time-like and its propagator has the Breit-Wigner form. So, near the resonance $A'$ can manifest itself. The contribution of $A'$ in Borsellino diagrams is negligible since, in this case, the virtual dark photon is space-like, the $A'$ propagator does not peak and effect is proportional at least to $\epsilon^2$. We calculate the distributions over the invariant masses of the both produced $e^+e^-$ pairs and search for the kinematical region where the Compton-like diagrams contribution is not suppressed as compared with the Borsellino one. We estimate what value of the parameter $\epsilon$, as a function of the dark photon mass, can be obtained at given number of the measured events.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.01770