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Towards a Reliable Model for Dark Matter Search Experiments

Towards a Reliable Model for Dark Matter Search Experiments

Objective

There is ample evidence that our Milky Way is embedded in a halo of Dark Matter. While the sun is revolving around the galactic center, it moves through this halo resulting in a constant Dark Matter wind on earth. The revolution of the earth around the sun produces then an annual modulation of the intensity of this wind. Dark Matter detection experiments have produced contradicting results so far. While the DAMA/LIBRA experiment reports the measurement of an annual modulation consistent with a Dark Matter signal, other experiments have not seen an interaction so far. The SABRE experiment aims to shed light on this controversy by detecting the annual modulation in the same target material as DAMA but with improved the sensitivity and using twin detectors in the northern and southern hemispheres. SABRE is currently preparing for a proof of principle at the same underground laboratory in Italy where DAMA operates, and will upgrade afterwards to the full-scale experiment.
This fellowship will enable me to drive the SABRE experiment through the proof-of-principle stage to the full-scale instrument. To fully understand the detector response to a dark matter signal or background radiation, end-to-end simulations are essential: I plan to include the interaction of the incoming particle/radiation with the detector, signal dispersion and collection including a full optical model, as well as the subsequent processing by the data acquisition electronics. Measurements with a high-purity crystal during the proof- of-principle phase will allow their intrinsic radiopurity to be fully characterized, which is a key input to the simulation. I will also measure the optical properties of the materials involved, another crucial part of the end-to-end simulation software. Using these results, I will also optimize the light collection efficiency of the detector and, with that, the sensitivity of the full-scale experiment.
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Coordinator

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE

Address

South Kensington Campus Exhibition Road
Sw7 2az London

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 195 454,80

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 703650

Status

Grant agreement terminated

  • Start date

    1 July 2016

  • End date

    30 June 2018

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 195 454,80

  • EU contribution

    € 195 454,80

Coordinated by:

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE

United Kingdom