UK involvement in direct dark matter searches

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Future direct dark matter searches will require instruments with improved sensitivity and complementary targets and techniques in order to claim a discovery, and then move to more detailed studies of the particle properties and astrophysical parameters. UK researchers are in an excellent position to participate in the world leading experiments, with significant progress in sensitivity achieved by ZEPLIN-III (liquid xenon target) and EDELWEISS-II (cryogenic germanium), experiments with established UK participation, and with a recent recruitment to the UK bringing a new involvement in DEAP/CLEAN (liquid argon). We anticipate a leading UK role in scale up to a tonne fiducial mass and beyond, probing the majority of the parameter space favoured by the most credible WIMP dark matter models. This proposal focuses on the technical development work necessary to design the EURECA and LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiments, to mitigate technical risks and improving sensitivity. Meeting these goals will also facilitate the positioning of the UK teams for leadership roles in the construction, operation and exploitation of EURECA and LZ.

Planned Impact

The technologies being developed are state-of-the-art in terms of particle detection and identification. The detection of WIMPs requires technology which can also detect fast neutrons and even neutrinos. These are of interest to many security-related issues and some developments in this direction to look for neutron production and coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering could follow on. The subject of dark matter scores highly in the public interest. So far the public have followed avidly all the evidence and efforts to make detections, in spite of no credible evidence for discovery yet, but a convincing positive announcement would re-invigorate the interest and doubtless attract young people into following science as a career. For the national funding agencies, a detection would allow a new planning regime with clear and more targeted goals for future studies.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Conceptual designs of the tonne-scale cryogenic and two-phase xenon dark matter experiments have been completed (EURECA and LZ). Modelling of background radiations has been carried out for both projects.
Exploitation Route Designs of the cryogenic detector with Ge crystals and two-phase xenon detector for dark matter search. Procedures and software for background modelling.
Sectors Other

URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212686414000090
 
Description Development of the muon simulation code. Developed initially to simulate muon-induced background in the underground laboratories, it has since been used to simulate muon transport through rock/matter in several applications beyond particle astrophysics, such as: investigating muon tomography for detecting illicit nuclear materials, studying volcanoes, muon radiography for monitoring carbon storage and mapping geological repositories.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Environment,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Consolidated Grant
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/N000277/1, only the fraction of the grant relevant to the LZ commissioning and exploitation is indicated in the cost 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 09/2019
 
Description Particle Physics Consolidated Grant from the University of Sheffield - ATLAS, ATLAS upgrade, T2K, LBNE/F, Hyper-K, MICE, LZ, DMGS, DRIFT, R&D, KE
Amount £2,709,792 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/N000277/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2019
 
Description Project grant: LZ construction
Amount £255,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/M003469/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2018
 
Description STFC standard grant
Amount £95,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/K006444/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 03/2015
 
Description The LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) Dark Matter Search
Amount £4,600,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/M003469/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2018
 
Description EDELWEISS 
Organisation Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
Department Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (IRFU)
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Monte Carlo modelling of radioactive background, leading the work package on background studies.
Collaborator Contribution Joint work on EDELWEISS-II experiment
Impact One paper has been submitted to Physics Letter B, two more papers are in preparation
Start Year 2010
 
Description EDELWEISS 
Organisation Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Monte Carlo modelling of radioactive background, leading the work package on background studies.
Collaborator Contribution Joint work on EDELWEISS-II experiment
Impact One paper has been submitted to Physics Letter B, two more papers are in preparation
Start Year 2010
 
Description EDELWEISS 
Organisation National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS)
Department IN2P3-Lyon
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Monte Carlo modelling of radioactive background, leading the work package on background studies.
Collaborator Contribution Joint work on EDELWEISS-II experiment
Impact One paper has been submitted to Physics Letter B, two more papers are in preparation
Start Year 2010
 
Description EDELWEISS 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Particle Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Monte Carlo modelling of radioactive background, leading the work package on background studies.
Collaborator Contribution Joint work on EDELWEISS-II experiment
Impact One paper has been submitted to Physics Letter B, two more papers are in preparation
Start Year 2010
 
Description EURECA 
Organisation Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific collaboration to design, build and operate a tonne-scale cryogenic experiment
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration to design, build and operate a tonne-scale cryogenic experiment
Impact Scientific publications, software development.
Start Year 2006
 
Description EURECA 
Organisation National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS)
Department Centre for Nuclear Sciences and Material Sciences (CSNSM)
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Scientific collaboration to design, build and operate a tonne-scale cryogenic experiment
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration to design, build and operate a tonne-scale cryogenic experiment
Impact Scientific publications, software development.
Start Year 2006
 
Description EURECA 
Organisation National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS)
Department IN2P3-Lyon
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Scientific collaboration to design, build and operate a tonne-scale cryogenic experiment
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration to design, build and operate a tonne-scale cryogenic experiment
Impact Scientific publications, software development.
Start Year 2006
 
Description EURECA 
Organisation Saclay Nuclear Research Centre
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Scientific collaboration to design, build and operate a tonne-scale cryogenic experiment
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration to design, build and operate a tonne-scale cryogenic experiment
Impact Scientific publications, software development.
Start Year 2006
 
Description EURECA 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific collaboration to design, build and operate a tonne-scale cryogenic experiment
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration to design, build and operate a tonne-scale cryogenic experiment
Impact Scientific publications, software development.
Start Year 2006
 
Description LZ 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Collaborator Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Impact LZ Conceptual Design Report, LZ Technical Design Report, LZ detector
Start Year 2013
 
Description LZ 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Department Particle Physics Department
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Collaborator Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Impact LZ Conceptual Design Report, LZ Technical Design Report, LZ detector
Start Year 2013
 
Description LZ 
Organisation University College London
Department Department of Physics & Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Collaborator Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Impact LZ Conceptual Design Report, LZ Technical Design Report, LZ detector
Start Year 2013
 
Description LZ 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department School of Physics and Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Collaborator Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Impact LZ Conceptual Design Report, LZ Technical Design Report, LZ detector
Start Year 2013
 
Description LZ 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Collaborator Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Impact LZ Conceptual Design Report, LZ Technical Design Report, LZ detector
Start Year 2013
 
Description LZ 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Collaborator Contribution Working together on the design and future construction of the LZ detector
Impact LZ Conceptual Design Report, LZ Technical Design Report, LZ detector
Start Year 2013
 
Title Modified SOURCES4 code 
Description The original code SOURCES4 developed at LANL (USA) has been modified to allow more accurate calculation of neutron yield in (alpha, n) reactions on a large number of isotopes relevant to material construction for rare event experiments. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact The code is now widely used by physicists working with underground experiments for rare event searches. 
 
Title Muon simulation code 
Description A Monte Carlo code for modelling cosmic-ray muons at different underground sites (SURF at South Dakota, USA and Modane, France) 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2013 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The code allows calculation of the muon fluxes and energy spectra underground. Initial simulations have been done for underground laboratories in Italy, France and others. In 2015 the model and method have applied to the SURF underground laboratory in the USA. 
 
Description Physics World online 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview with a journalist from Physics World Online, an article in this online journal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2015/apr/09/dark-matter-and-muons-are-ruled-out-as-dama-sig...
 
Description Public talks at the amateur astronomy society meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Around 100 people attended several tialks in total

Several other invitations received
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013