New generation experiments searching for light dark matter candidates
Unravelling the nature of dark matter, which makes up around 85 % of the total mass of the universe, is one of the most compelling quests in physics. Physicists have long searched for hypothesised dark matter particles called weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). State-of-the-art dark matter detectors do not have the required sensitivity to detect such lightweight dark matter candidates. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the DarkSphere project will leverage experimental techniques to test the WIMP hypothesis (with light particle masses ranging between 0.05 and 10 GeV) with unprecedented sensitivity. Researchers will use the spherical proportional counter, a type of gaseous ionisation detector device that counts particles of ionising radiation with a low-energy threshold down to a single electron.