Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

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

Professor of Physics

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.


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,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 14, 2014
Publication Date Dec 1, 2014
Deposit Date Jun 30, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 30, 2016
Journal Physics of the Dark Universe
Electronic ISSN 2212-6864
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5-6
Keywords Dark matter; Direct detection; Statistical methods
Public URL
Publisher URL
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:

You might also like

Downloadable Citations