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Search for dark matter with direct detection: infrastructure for development and tests

Grant number: 17/02985-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2017
Effective date (End): November 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics
Principal Investigator:Nelson Carlin Filho
Grantee:Luis Eduardo Funo de Moura França
Home Institution: Instituto de Física (IF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The observations that established the existence of dark matter were based on gravitational interactions. This aspect is not enough to determine its nature, and it is therefore important to consider the possibility of other types of interaction other than the gravitational. In this context, weak interactions are usually the most considered. The experimental activities of dark matter search are divided into three fronts that constitute complementary research methodologies: methods of direct and indirect detection and production in colliders, such as the LHC. Therefore, in this project we intend to conduct experimental research related to the direct detection of dark matter, in particular WIMPs, through the COSINE-100 experiment (106 kg of NaI(Tl) crystals) installed in an underground laboratory in South Korea. The initial emphasis is on the observation of the annual modulation in the rate of events related to the movement of the solar system with respect to the halo of the galaxy, which would contain dark matter. Additionally, it is also intended in the medium term to investigate aspects related to physics beyond the standard model, in particular the existence of dark photons, that would act as mediators of the interactions with the standard model. In parallel, discussions have been started regarding the future upgrade of the experiment to a new version COSINE-200 (200 kg of NaI(Tl) crystals).In this context, we intend to implement infrastructure for test and development aiming the separation of the nuclear and electronic recoil components, which are important for the identification of the signal that would come from dark matter.