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Paleo-detectors: Searching for dark matter with ancient minerals
Stockholm Univ, Dept Phys, Oskar Klein Ctr Cosmoparticle Phys, Alba Nova, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden..
KTH, Centres, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics NORDITA. Stockholm Univ, Dept Phys, Oskar Klein Ctr Cosmoparticle Phys, Alba Nova, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden ; .
KTH, Centres, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics NORDITA. Stockholm Univ, Dept Phys, Oskar Klein Ctr Cosmoparticle Phys, Alba Nova, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden ; Univ Michigan, Leinweber Ctr Theoret Phys, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA.
Natl Ctr Nucl Res, PL-05400 Otwock, Swierk, Poland..
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2019 (English)In: PHYSICAL REVIEW D, Vol. 99, no 4, article id 043014Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We explore paleo-detectors as an approach to the direct detection of weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) dark matter radically different from conventional detectors. Instead of instrumenting a (large) target mass in a laboratory in order to observe WIMP-induced nuclear recoils in real time, the approach is to examine ancient minerals for traces of WIMP-nucleus interactions recorded over timescales as large as 1 Gyr. Here, we discuss the paleo-detector proposal in detail, including background sources and possible target materials. In order to suppress backgrounds induced by radioactive contaminants such as uranium, we propose to use minerals found in marine evaporites or in ultrabasic rocks. We estimate the sensitivity of paleo-detectors to spin-independent and spin-dependent WIMP-nucleus interactions. The sensitivity to low-mass WIMPs with masses m(chi) less than or similar to 10 GeV extends to WIMP-nucleon cross sections many orders of magnitude smaller than current upper limits. For heavier WIMPs with masses m(z) greater than or similar to 30 GeV cross sections a factor of a few to similar to 100 smaller than current upper limits can be probed by paleo-detectors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER PHYSICAL SOC , 2019. Vol. 99, no 4, article id 043014
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Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-246257DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.99.043014ISI: 000459912000002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85062327444OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-246257DiVA, id: diva2:1300811
Note

QC 20190329

Available from: 2019-03-29 Created: 2019-03-29 Last updated: 2019-04-04Bibliographically approved

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Baum, SebastianFreese, Katherine

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