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Construction and tests of a dark photons detector

Grant number: 20/03007-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Nuclear Physics
Principal Investigator:Nelson Carlin Filho
Grantee:David Fernando Freitas da Silva Cavalcante
Home Institution: Instituto de Física (IF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The observations that established the existence of dark matter were based on gravitational interactions. This aspect is not enough to determine its nature, thus, it is important to consider the possibility of other types of interaction than gravitational interaction. This project fits into the context of dark matter detection considering that it can interact weakly, WIMPs, through the COSINE-100 experiment (106 kg of NaI (Tl) crystals) installed in an underground laboratory in South Korea. The initial emphasis lies in the confirmation (or not) of the results of the DAMA / LIBRA experiment, which suggest the existence of dark matter by verifying an annual modulation in the rate of events due to the earth's movement around the sun and the sun's movement in relation to the galactic halo, the which would contain dark matter. These results have already been refuted by other experiments, including COSINE-100, which yielded null results. It is also possible, with the COSINE-100 experiment, to investigate interesting physics-related aspects beyond the standard model, in particular the existence of dark photons, which would act like mediators of the interactions with the standard model. These studies will be conducted by graduate students from our group. In this sense, making use of the infrastructure of our instrumentation laboratory, the objective of this project consists in the construction and characterization of a multi-cathode detector with the objective of detecting dark photons, exploring the possibility of axioelectric effect in metals, so that these photons' signal would be the direct detection of single electrons produced by such effect.