Seminar: The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Direct detection of light dark matter

Friday September 27 2013, 2:30pm - Seminar room

Speaker: Felix Kahlhoefer (University of Oxford)

Motivated by the recent observation of a signal in the Si detectors of the CDMS-II experiment, I will review the difficulties of direct detection for light dark matter.

While the observed events are consistent with being nuclear recoils due to scattering of Galactic dark matter particles, there is significant tension with the upper bounds from the XENON10 and XENON100 experiments. I will discuss the underlying assumptions for these results and point out under what conditions the tension between these experiments can be ameliorated or resolved. A particular focus will be on experimental uncertainties (for example concerning the ionisation yield Q_y) and uncertainties related to the dark matter velocity distribution. Finally, I will discuss various particle physics modifications of the interactions between DM and SM quarks which can bring XENON10/100 and CDMS-II into better agreement.


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