Discovery colloquium by Laura Baudis – University of Copenhagen

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Discovery colloquium by Laura Baudis

Title: Illuminating the dark: direct searches for cold dark matter in the Milky Way

Abstract: Cosmological observations and the dynamics of the Milky Way provide strong evidence for an invisible and dominant mass component, that so far reveals its presence only by its gravitational interaction. If the dark matter is made of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), it can be directly detected via elastic scattering from nuclei in ultra-low background, deep-underground detectors. WIMPs arise naturally in beyond standard model theories, a popular example being the neutralino, or the lightest supersymmetric particle. After an introduction to the direct dark matter detection method, I will review the current experimental techniques to search for these hypothetical particles. The focus will be on the recent results from the XENON1T experiment, which is acquiring science data at the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory in Italy since November 2016. I will end by introducing DARWIN, an R&D and design study for a next-generation, multi-ton dark matter detector.