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SELENDIS: A novel detection strategy to discover light Dark Matter

Project description

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.

Objective

Ordinary matter - which includes stars, galaxies, and the human body - only accounts for 20% of the total mass of the Universe. The missing mass consists of so-called Dark Matter (DM) which, while invisible, betrays its presence through gravitational effects on its surrounding environment. For the past several decades, DM particles have been extensively sought after but yet, keep eluding detection. Why? There is now compelling reasons to believe that these particles are lighter than first-anticipated. As a result, their discovery requires energy detection thresholds and background discrimination capabilities beyond state-of-the-art detector performance. The goal of this research proposal is to enable a potential light DM discovery. To achieve this aim, I want to develop a novel cryogenic detector technology called SELENDIS (Single ELEctron Nuclear recoil DIScrimination). The proposed detector will allow for the first time in DM search history for particle-type identification down to single electrons. After only two weeks of data taking, SELENDIS’ sensitivity to light DM will exceed that of state-of-the-art experiments. Based on my 6 years experience in DM searches, I will develop advanced competencies in cryogenics, cold-electronics, signal treatment, to cite but a few, in a multidisciplinary framework. I will work in a laboratory equipped with a cryostat with world-leading vibration levels within a team of experts in the development of cryogenic detectors for DM searches with EDELWEISS and low-energy neutrino physics with RICOCHET. Hosted in a top-class institution (IPNL/CNRS), this 24-month Marie Curie fellowship will support my future scientific career by providing me with technological competencies, broadening my network opportunities and developing my leadership capabilities. Because SELENDIS represents the next generation of light DM detectors, this research will contribute to European excellence and competitiveness in a frontier research field.

Coordinator

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
Net EU contribution
€ 196 707,84
Address
RUE MICHEL ANGE 3
75794 Paris
France

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Region
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
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Total cost
€ 196 707,84