A new cryogenic detector boosts search for dark matter particles
Astronomers assume that approximately 20 % of the total matter is made of regular matter, including stars, galaxies, atoms and life, while the rest is made of dark matter. The mysterious nature of dark matter remains unknown but it may consist of some undiscovered subatomic particles. There is compelling evidence that these subatomic particles are lighter than first theorised. Their discovery requires energy detection thresholds and background discrimination capabilities that exceed those of state-of-the-art detectors. Funded under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the SELENDIS project will develop a novel cryogenic detector technology, called single-electron nuclear recoil discrimination, that should improve the ability to detect light dark matter particles. The proposed detector will allow for the first time in the dark-matter search history for particle-type identification down to single electrons.