Scientific reach of multiton-scale dark matter direct detection experiments

Jayden L. Newstead, Thomas D. Jacques, Lawrence Krauss, James B. Dent, Francesc Ferrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The next generation of large-scale weakly interacting massive particle direct detection experiments have the potential to go beyond the discovery phase and reveal detailed information about both the particle physics and astrophysics of dark matter. We report here on early results arising from the development of a detailed numerical code modeling the proposed DARWIN detector, involving both liquid argon and xenon targets. We incorporate realistic detector physics, particle physics, and astrophysical uncertainties and demonstrate to what extent two targets with similar sensitivities can remove various degeneracies and allow a determination of dark matter cross sections and masses while also probing rough aspects of the dark matter phase-space distribution. We find that, even assuming dominance of spin-independent scattering, multiton-scale experiments still have degeneracies that depend sensitively on the dark matter mass, and on the possibility of isospin violation and inelasticity in interactions. We find that these experiments are best able to discriminate dark matter properties for dark matter masses less than around 200 GeV. In addition, and somewhat surprisingly, the use of two targets gives only a small improvement (aside from the advantage of different systematics associated with any claimed signal) in the ability to pin down dark matter parameters when compared with one target of larger exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number076011
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 15 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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