Arthur B. McDonald

Direct Detection of Dark Matter With Liquid Argon


Abstract

A wide variety of astronomical observations indicate the existence of Dark Matter making up over 80% of matter in the Universe. However, to date there has been no conclusive direct observation of these particles interacting with ordinary matter. A leading theoretical model for Dark Matter is Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPS). The Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration has united over 350 international scientists for a series of measurements building on experiments in operation [DarkSide-50 (50kg) and DEAP (3.3 tonnes)], under development [Darkside-20k (50 tonnes)] and for the future [ARGO (400 tonnes)] to search for interactions of WIMPS from our galaxy. Liquid argon provides excellent sensitivity to argon nuclei recoiling from WIMP collisions and strong discrimination against electron recoils caused by radioactivity. These experiments are carried out in deep underground locations (Gran Sasso, SNOLAB) to remove cosmic ray interactions, thereby enabling measurements that can extend several orders of magnitude beyond present limits, until restricted by interactions from penetrating neutrinos coherently scattering from argon nuclei.


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