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Paleo-detectors: Searching for Dark Matter with Ancient Minerals
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC). Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC). Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). University of Michigan, USA.
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2019 (English)In: Physical Review D. Particles and fields, ISSN 0556-2821, E-ISSN 1089-4918, Vol. 99, no 4, article id 043014Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We explore paleo-detectors as an approach to the direct detection of weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) dark matter radically different from conventional detectors. Instead of instrumenting a (large) target mass in a laboratory in order to observe WIMP-induced nuclear recoils in real time, the approach is to examine ancient minerals for traces of WIMP-nucleus interactions recorded over timescales as large as 1 Gyr. Here, we discuss the paleo-detector proposal in detail, including background sources and possible target materials. In order to suppress backgrounds induced by radioactive contaminants such as uranium, we propose to use minerals found in marine evaporites or in ultrabasic rocks. We estimate the sensitivity of paleo-detectors to spin-independent and spin-dependent WIMP-nucleus interactions. The sensitivity to low-mass WIMPs with masses mχ≲10  GeV extends to WIMP-nucleon cross sections many orders of magnitude smaller than current upper limits. For heavier WIMPs with masses mχ≳30  GeV cross sections a factor of a few to ∼100 smaller than current upper limits can be probed by paleo-detectors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 99, no 4, article id 043014
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Theoretical Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-167403DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.99.043014ISI: 000459912000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-167403DiVA, id: diva2:1299808
Available from: 2019-03-28 Created: 2019-03-28 Last updated: 2019-04-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Dark Matter, Ancient Rocks, a Band of Higgs Bosons, and a Big Collider: or, Models of New Physics and Some Ways to Probe Them
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dark Matter, Ancient Rocks, a Band of Higgs Bosons, and a Big Collider: or, Models of New Physics and Some Ways to Probe Them
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The past ~ 50 years have seen a remarkable success of particle physics. In the 1970s, the Standard Model was formulated and in 2012 its final ingredient, the Higgs boson, was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The Standard Model describes virtually all particle physics observable in the laboratory. However, despite this success, the Standard Model has a number of shortcomings. Some problems stem from its mathematical structure, most famously the hierarchy problem. Further, the Standard Model fails to describe the composition of our Universe, for example, it cannot explain the observed Dark Matter. Thus, the need for physics beyond the Standard Model is clear. A long series of experiments has been conducted to search for this new physics. Alas, these experiments came up empty handed.This thesis discusses two lines of work: 1) Arguably, the Higgs sector of the Standard Model is its least constrained part and simultaneously intimately related to many of the Standard Model's shortcomings. We discuss models extending the Higgs sector, both in a general and in a supersymmetric setting, and how they can be probed at the LHC. 2) A century after the first evidence for Dark Matter emerged, we still don't know what it is made up of. We discuss some models for Dark Matter, including axions and a particular model for Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) Dark Matter. Then, we present some methods to search for WIMP Dark Matter, focusing on paleo-detectors, a proposed method where one would search for the traces of WIMP-nucleus interactions left in ancient minerals. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physics, Stockholm University, 2019. p. 89
Keywords
particle phenomenology, supersymmetry, dark matter, higgs boson
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Theoretical Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-167406 (URN)978-91-7797-713-1 (ISBN)978-91-7797-714-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-12, sal FB52, AlbaNova universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
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Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Accepted. Paper 8: Manuscript.

Available from: 2019-05-20 Created: 2019-03-28 Last updated: 2019-05-21Bibliographically approved

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Drukier, Andrzej K.Baum, SebastianFreese, KatherineStengel, Patrick
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