COLLOQUIA: Search for Dark Matter with liquid argon

Friday, 11 December 2015 at 12:00 at IFAE Seminar room

Speaker: Aldo Ianni (Research Division, INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory)


In the scenario where Dark Matter (DM) is made of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), a direct detection can be performed by searching for the ionization induced by nuclear recoils from WIMP-nucleus interactions.Liquid noble gases, such as xenon and argon, are very good scintillators and can be used as target mass for direct DM detection. In this talk the main characteristics of a xenon and argon based detector for this purpose will be discussed. More details will be given on an argon based detector. In particular, the DarkSide-50 project will be reviewed. DarkSide-50 is a 150 kg liquid argon TPC detector built inside an active neutron veto made of a boron loaded liquid scintillator. The neutron veto is installed inside a 1000 tons water Cherenkov muon detector. A liquid argon scintillator has a very efficient pulse shape discrimination which allows to distinguish between electron recoils (background) and nuclear recoils (WIMPs). However, the 39Ar produced in atmospheric argon limit the sensitivity to search for WIMPs. DarkSide-50 has developed a technology to produce argon depleted in 39Ar. First results from a run with depleted argon will be presented.

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