Collection Number C09012
Collection Date -
Collection Type Conference/School
In the last few years, a new observational window has opened on the dark sector of matter. The recent flood of experimental results on direct and indirect dark matter detection has potentially revolutionized our view of the nature of dark matter. As the non gravitational nature of dark matter may well be revealing itself for the first time, initial results have lead to a reexamination of WIMP physics with the aim of enhancing the annihilation cross section through various means, and encouraged theorists to think of more exotic possibilities. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together leading theorists in this area, as well as representatives of the recent experiments, to encourage the sharing and debating of recent results and approaches to probing and describing the dark matter sector.
Light hidden sectors are a generic possibility for new physics, and recent astrophysical signals motivate hidden sector dark matter. I will discuss probes of a minimal secluded U(1) hidden sector scenario with high luminosity particle physics experiments.
The XENON project pursues the goal of directly detecting nuclear recoils resulting from scattering interactions with Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), using a phased approach of increasingly more sensitive experiments. The detector consists of a dual-phase liquid/gas xenon time projection chamber, which can measure down to ~2 keV(ee) energy threshold and discriminates against background using both the primary scintillation light and the charge signal resulting from interactions in the noble liquid.
The DEAP/CLEAN collaboration will be constructing a 3600-kg single-phase liquid-argon dark matter detector at SNOLAB with sensitivity to 10-46 cm2 for a 100 GeV WIMP. We are currently operating a 7-kg liquid-argon detector (DEAP-1) at SNOLAB. Using DEAP-1 we have made measurements of alpha surface activity and radon levels in the detector. We have also performed studies of pulse-shape discrimination to separate electromagnetic interactions in the liquid argon from nuclear recoils.
Dark sectors with multi-component WIMP states, with small MeV- to GeV-scale splittings, can lead to more complex signatures in direct detection experiments. I'll discuss some scenarios with excited states charged under either the Standard Model or hidden sector gauge groups, and the ensuing constraints.
The ZEPLIN-III liquid xenon dark matter detector has completed its first underground science run, with a final exposure after cuts of 128kg.days of data. This has led to a limit on the spin-independent cross section of 7.8e-8pb for a 60GeV mass WIMP. The required techniques to derive this limit will be outlined, including data stability, detector calibrations, analysis techniques and selection efficiencies. Future plans for ZEPLIN-III will be Outlined.
I consider a the dark matter relic abundance computation in a model where the dark matter annihilates into a light mediator rather than directly into the standard model. Obtaining the correct relic abundance in such a model may imply a different annihilation cross section than is implied by the usual WIMP decoupling computation. I show that the maximum annihilation cross section is obtained when the hidden sector decouples from the standard model before the dark matter annihilates into the mediator particles, and may be as much as a factor of 5 larger than the standard WIMP value.
KeV-MeV scale dark matter particles with integer spin, very weakly unstable and super-weakly interacting, can produce an observable ionization signal in direct detection experiments. I zoom in on some sensible models and discuss their observational consequences.