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Alexander Fieguth – XENON1T & the challenge of direct dark matter detection
2017/06/14, 13:00 — 14:00
Driven by the profound evidence from cosmology and astronomy the existence of dark matter is well-established as a part of our universe. Despite the fact, that there is five times more dark matter than baryonic matter out in the universe, its nature remains puzzling up to now. The promising idea of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) being the constituents of this form of matter is pursued with great effort. Especially their direct detection with earth-bound detectors has grown large interest within the last years as the technologies have reached sensitivities for WIMP interactions with baryonic matter at cross sections in the zeptobarn regime. One leading detector type to look for these interactions is the dual-phase xenon time projection chamber (TPC), which is the technology pursed by the XENON collaboration. Within the XENON dark matter project different detectors of this kind have been built, growing in size and knowledge. The current detector XENON1T, which is the first ton-scale dual-phase xenon dark matter detector, utilizes 3.2 tons of xenon in order to search for WIMP-nucleon interactions. While it is running with the lowest background ever achieved in a dark matter experiment so far, a first blind data set has been analyzed and shows that it is the most sensitive detector for the search of WIMPs with masses above 20 GeV/cm². Once XENON1T has reached its science goal, XENONnT, a larger detector within the same infrastructure, will take the challenge to the next level.