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Title: The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search low ionization-threshold experiment

Over 80 years ago we discovered the presence of Dark Matter in our universe. Endeavors in astronomy and cosmology are in consensus with ever improving precision that Dark Matter constitutes an essential 27% of our universe. The Standard Model of Particle Physics does not provide any answers to the Dark Matter problem. It is imperative that we understand Dark Matter and discover its fundamental nature. This is because, alongside other important factors, Dark Matter is responsible for formation of structure in our universe. The very construct in which we sit is defined by its abundance. The Milky Way galaxy, hence life, wouldn't have formed if small over densities of Dark Matter had not caused sufficient accretion of stellar material. Marvelous experiments have been designed based on basic notions to directly and in-directly study Dark Matter, and the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment has been a pioneer and forerunner in the direct detection field. Generations of the CDMS experiment were designed with advanced scientific upgrades to detect Dark Matter particles of mass O(100) GeV/c2. This mass-scale was set primarily by predictions from Super Symmetry. Around 2013 the canonical SUSY predictions were losing some ground and several observations (rather hints ofmore » signals) from various experiments indicated to the possibility of lighter Dark Matter of mass O(10) GeV/c2. While the SuperCDMS experiment was probing the regular parameter space, the CDMSlite experiment was conceived to dedicatedly search for light Dark Matter using a novel technology. "CDMSlite" stands for CDMS - low ionization threshold experiment. Here we utilize a unique electron phonon coupling mechanism to measure ionization generated by scattering of light particles. Typically signals from such low energy recoils would be washed under instrumental noise. In CDMSlite via generation of Luke-Neganov phonons we can detect the small ionization energies, amplified in phonon modes during charge transport. This technology allows us to reach very low thresholds and reliably measure and investigate low energy recoils from light Dark Matter particles. This thesis describes the physics behind CDMSlite, the experimental design and the first science results from CDMSlite operated at the Soudan Underground Laboratory.« less
  1. Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States)
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Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States