skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Search for Light Dark Matter Produced in a Proton Beam Dump

Abstract

Cosmological observations indicate that our universe contains dark matter (DM), yet we have no measurements of its microscopic properties. Whereas the gravitational interaction of DM is well understood, its interaction with the Standard Model is not. Direct detection experiments, the current standard, search for a nuclear recoil interaction and have a low-mass sensitivity edge of order 1 GeV. A path to detect DM with mass below 1 GeV is the use of accelerators producing boosted low-mass DM. Using neutrino detectors to search for low-mass DM is logical due to the similarity of the DM and neutrino signatures in the detector. The MiniBooNE experiment, located at Fermilab on the Booster Neutrino Beamline, has produced the first proton beam-dump light DM search results. Using dark matter scattering from nucleons 90% confidence limits were set over a large parameter space and, to allow tests of other theories, a model independent DM rate was extracted.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1345594
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-THESIS-2017-04
1516124
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Thornton, Remington Tyler. Search for Light Dark Matter Produced in a Proton Beam Dump. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1345594.
Thornton, Remington Tyler. Search for Light Dark Matter Produced in a Proton Beam Dump. United States. doi:10.2172/1345594.
Thornton, Remington Tyler. Sun . "Search for Light Dark Matter Produced in a Proton Beam Dump". United States. doi:10.2172/1345594. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1345594.
@article{osti_1345594,
title = {Search for Light Dark Matter Produced in a Proton Beam Dump},
author = {Thornton, Remington Tyler},
abstractNote = {Cosmological observations indicate that our universe contains dark matter (DM), yet we have no measurements of its microscopic properties. Whereas the gravitational interaction of DM is well understood, its interaction with the Standard Model is not. Direct detection experiments, the current standard, search for a nuclear recoil interaction and have a low-mass sensitivity edge of order 1 GeV. A path to detect DM with mass below 1 GeV is the use of accelerators producing boosted low-mass DM. Using neutrino detectors to search for low-mass DM is logical due to the similarity of the DM and neutrino signatures in the detector. The MiniBooNE experiment, located at Fermilab on the Booster Neutrino Beamline, has produced the first proton beam-dump light DM search results. Using dark matter scattering from nucleons 90% confidence limits were set over a large parameter space and, to allow tests of other theories, a model independent DM rate was extracted.},
doi = {10.2172/1345594},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Thesis/Dissertation:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this thesis or dissertation.

Save / Share:
  • This dissertation presents a search for dark matter in events with one or more jets and large missing transverse energy using proton-proton collisions at center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV. The data was collected in 2016 by the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 35.9more » $$fb^{-1}$$. The results are interpreted in terms of Light Non-thermal dark matter model which explains presence of dark matter as well as baryon asymmetry in the universe. Model independent limit on narrow resonance is also obtained for monojet dominant coupling parameter space. There is no evidence for an excess of events above the background processes in the signal region, therefore cross section limits are set for different mediator masses.« less
  • This dissertation describes the results of a WIMP search using CDMS II data sets accumulated at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota. Results from the original analysis of these data were published in 2009; two events were observed in the signal region with an expected leakage of 0.9 events. Further investigation revealed an issue with the ionization-pulse reconstruction algorithm leading to a software upgrade and a subsequent reanalysis of the data. As part of the reanalysis, I performed an advanced discrimination technique to better distinguish (potential) signal events from backgrounds using a 5-dimensional chi-square method. This dataanalysis technique combines themore » event information recorded for each WIMP-search event to derive a backgrounddiscrimination parameter capable of reducing the expected background to less than one event, while maintaining high efficiency for signal events. Furthermore, optimizing the cut positions of this 5-dimensional chi-square parameter for the 14 viable germanium detectors yields an improved expected sensitivity to WIMP interactions relative to previous CDMS results. This dissertation describes my improved (and optimized) discrimination technique and the results obtained from a blind application to the reanalyzed CDMS II WIMP-search data.« less
  • A wide variety of astrophysical observations indicate that approximately 85% of the matter in the universe is nonbaryonic and nonluminous. Understanding the nature of this "dark matter" is one of the most important outstanding questions in cosmology. Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) are a leading candidate for dark matter since they would be thermally produced in the early universe in the correct abundance to account for the observed relic density of dark matter. If WIMPs account for the dark matter, then rare interactions from relic WIMPs should be observable in terrestrial detectors. Recently, unexplained excess events in the DAMA/LIBRA, CoGeNT,more » and CRESST-II experiments have been interpreted as evidence of scattering from WIMPs with masses ~10 GeV and spin-independent scattering cross sections of 10-41-10-40 cm 2. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS II) attempts to identify WIMP interactions using an array of cryogenic germanium and silicon particle detectors located at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in northern Minnesota. In this dissertation, data taken by CDMS II are reanalyzed using a 2 keV recoil energy threshold to increase the sensitivity to WIMPs with masses ~10 GeV. These data disfavor an explanation for the DAMA/LIBRA, CoGeNT, and CRESST-II results in terms of spin-independent elastic scattering of WIMPs with masses ≲12 GeV, under standard assumptions. At the time of publication, they provided the strongest constraints on spin-independent elastic scattering from 5-9 GeV, ruling out previously unexplored parameter space. To detect WIMPs or exclude the remaining parameter space favored by the most popular models will ultimately require detectors with target masses ≳1 ton, requiring an increase in mass by more than two orders of magnitude over CDMS II. For cryogenic detectors such as CDMS, scaling to such large target masses will require individual detector elements to be fabricated more quickly and cheaply, while maintaining the nearly background-free operation of the existing experiment. We describe the development of athermal phonon mediated particle detectors using Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs), which could provide a simpler path to extending the CDMS detector technology to the ton scale. Results from prototype devices have demonstrated energy resolutions as good as σ = 0.55 keV at 30 keV, comparable to existing CDMS II detectors. Such designs can be scaled to kg-scale detector elements, while reducing the complexity of the detector fabrication and cryogenic readout electronics relative to existing designs. Since MKIDs are naturally multiplexed in the frequency domain, MKID-based designs also allow much finer pixelization of the phonon sensor, which is expected to enhance background rejection for large detectors while simultaneously reducing the number of wires needed to read out the detectors.« less
  • An ever-increasing amount of evidence suggests that approximately one quarter of the energy in the universe is composed of some non-luminous, and hitherto unknown, “dark matter”. Physicists from numerous sub-fields have been working on and trying to solve the dark matter problem for decades. The common solution is the existence of some new type of elementary particle with particular focus on weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). One avenue of dark matter research is to create an extremely sensitive particle detector with the goal of directly observing the interaction of WIMPs with standard matter. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) projectmore » operated at the Soudan Underground Laboratory from 2003–2015, under the CDMS II and SuperCDMS Soudan experiments, with this goal of directly detecting dark matter. The next installation, SuperCDMS SNOLAB, is planned for near-future operation. The reason the dark-matter particle has not yet been observed in traditional particle physics experiments is that it must have very small cross sections, thus making such interactions extremely rare. In order to identify these rare events in the presence of a background of known particles and interactions, direct detection experiments employ various types and amounts of shielding to prevent known backgrounds from reaching the instrumented detector(s). CDMS utilized various gamma and neutron shielding to such an effect that the shielding, and other experimental components, themselves were sources of background. These radiogenic backgrounds must be understood to have confidence in any WIMP-search result. For this dissertation, radiogenic background studies and estimates were performed for various analyses covering CDMS II, SuperCDMS Soudan, and SuperCDMS SNOLAB. Lower-mass dark matter t c2 inent in the past few years. The CDMS detectors can be operated in an alternative, higher-biased, mode v to decrease their energy thresholds and correspondingly increase their sensitivity to low-mass WIMPs. This is the CDMS low ionization threshold experiment (CDMSlite), which has pushed the frontier at lower WIMP masses. This dissertation describes the second run of CDMSlite at Soudan: its hardware, operations, analysis, and results. The results include new WIMP mass-cross section upper limits on the spin-independent and spin-dependent WIMP-nucleon interactions. Thanks to the lower background and threshold in this run compared to the first CDMSlite run, these limits are the most sensitive in the world below WIMP masses of ~4 GeV/c 2. This demonstrates also the great promise and utility of the high-voltage operating mode in the SuperCDMS SNOLAB experiment.« less
  • In recent decades astronomers and physicists have accumulated a vast array of evidence that the bulk of the universe's matter is in some non-baryonic form that remains undetected by electromagnetic means. This \dark matter" resides in diuse halos surrounding galaxies and other cosmic structures. Particle theorists have proposed a wide array of candidates for its nature. One particularly promising class of candidates are Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs): quanta with masses of order 100 GeV/c2 and interactions characteristic of the weak nuclear force. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment seeks to directly detect the rare elastic interactions of galacticmore » WIMPs with terrestrial nuclei. To this end, CDMS operates an array of crystalline Ge and Si particle detectors in Soudan Underground Laboratory in northern Minnesota. These crystals are operated at millikelvin temperatures and instrumented to measure the ionization and athermal phonons generated by each particle interaction. This combination provides a powerful two-fold discrimination against the interactions of particles generated by radioactive decay and cosmogenic showers. This dissertation describes the commissioning, analysis, and results of the rst WIMP-search data runs of the CDMS experiment with its full complement of 5 \Towers" of detectors. These data represent a substantial increase in target mass and exposure over previous CDMS results. The results of this work place the most stringent limits yet set upon the WIMP-nucleon spin-independent cross section for WIMP masses above 44 GeV/c2 , as well as setting competitive limits on spin-dependent WIMP-nucleon interactions. This work also outlines the larger context of this and other probes of the WIMP theory of dark matter, as well as some current development eorts toward a larger cryogenic experiment.« less