Discovery-HET Seminar: Jonathan Davis (Durham) – University of Copenhagen

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Discovery-HET Seminar: Jonathan Davis (Durham)

Speaker: Jonathan Davis (Durham)

Title: DAMA without Dark Matter

Abstract: Direct Detection experiments aim to detect evidence of Dark Matter scattering with nuclei. One such collaboration: DAMA/LIBRA has claimed a positive detection of Dark Matter, which takes the form of an annually modulated event rate. However the regions of Dark Matter parameter space favoured by these experiments are in strong tension with the null results from e.g. LUX, XENON100 and SuperCDMS. Hence in this talk I discuss an alternative explanation of the DAMA events which does not invoke Dark Matter. I show that the DAMA modulation is equally well explained by neutrons liberated by a combination of boron-8 solar neutrinos and atmospheric muons in the rock or shielding around the detector. In addition I estimate that rates of neutrons from muons and neutrinos and address recent criticisms of these estimates. With current data my model gives as good a fit as Dark Matter and I discuss prospects for future experiments to discriminate between the two.