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WIMP physics with ensembles of direct-detection experiments

Peter, Annika H.G.; Glusevic, Vera; Green, Anne M.; Kavanagh, Bradley J.; Lee, Samuel L.


Annika H.G. Peter

Vera Glusevic

Anne M. Green

Bradley J. Kavanagh

Samuel L. Lee


The search for weakly-interacting massive particle (WIMP) dark matter is multi-pronged. Ulti- mately, the WIMP-dark-matter picture will only be confirmed if different classes of experiments see consistent signals and infer the same WIMP properties. In this work, we review the ideas, meth- ods, and status of direct-detection searches. We focus in particular on extracting WIMP physics (WIMP interactions and phase-space distribution) from direct-detection data in the early discov- ery days when multiple experiments see of order dozens to hundreds of events. To demonstrate the essential complementarity of different direct-detection experiments in this context, we create mock data intended to represent the data from the near-future Generation 2 experiments. We consider both conventional supersymmetry-inspired benchmark points (with spin-independent and -dependent elastic cross sections just below current limits), as well as benchmark points for other classes of models (inelastic and effective-operator paradigms). We also investigate the effect on parameter estimation of loosening or dropping the assumptions about the local WIMP phase-space distribution. We arrive at two main conclusions. Firstly, teasing out WIMP physics with experi- ments depends critically on having a wide set of detector target materials, spanning a large range of target nuclear masses and spin-dependent sensitivity. It is also highly desirable to obtain data from low-threshold experiments. Secondly, a general reconstruction of the local WIMP velocity distribu- tion, which will only be achieved if there are multiple experiments using different target materials, is critical to obtaining a robust and unbiased estimate of the WIMP mass.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2014
Journal Physics of the Dark Universe
Electronic ISSN 2212-6864
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5-6
APA6 Citation Peter, A. H., Glusevic, V., Green, A. M., Kavanagh, B. J., & Lee, S. L. (2014). WIMP physics with ensembles of direct-detection experiments. Physics of the Dark Universe, 5-6,
Keywords Dark matter; Direct detection; Statistical methods
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Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


ddcomplementarity.pdf (3.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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