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Analysis of the data of the EDELWEISS-LT experiment searching for low-mass WIMP

  • Queguiner, Emeline
Publication Date
Oct 23, 2018
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Many astrophysical and cosmological observations lead to postulate the existence of an unknown matter, called dark matter. Ordinary matter can explain only 5 % of the energy content of the Universe : the main components would be the dark energy (70 %) and dark matter (25 %). This latter is invisible and manifest itself only via its gravitational effects. Several particles, grouped under the generic term of WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles), could correspond to this theory and are actively searched. Many experiments have been developed for this purpose and are based on three strategies: the production of these particles with colliders, the observation of the particles produced by their annihilation in astrophysical objects or the direct detection of these particles via their interaction with the nucleus of the atoms constituent of a detector. It is on this last method that the EDELWEISS experiment is based. It is a dark matter direct detection experiment dedicated to the search for WIMP with masses between 1 GeV and 1 TeV. Its primary purpose is to detect nuclear recoils induced by elastic scattering of dark matter particles in detectors. Since the expected event rates < 10 /(kg.year) are several orders of magnitude lower than those induced by ambient radioactivity, a double measurement of ionization and heat is used to discriminate electron-induced recoils arising from β and γ interactions from WIMP-induced nuclear recoils. In addition, the experiment was placed underground to guard against cosmic radiation, inducing events in the detectors. These are germanium bolometers, called FID, cooled to cryogenic temperatures (18 mK) and operating at low field (1 V/cm). Since 2015, the new strategy of the experiment consists of focusing on WIMPs with mass below 10 GeV, an interessant research area where experiments using cryogenic detectors can exploit their ability to operate with experimental thresholds well below 1 keV. The operation of the experiment has been improved to achieve this goal. The aim of this thesis is to analyze the data set recorded by EDELWEISS in 2015 and 2016. These used the FID detectors subjected to a greater electric field than previously to improve their sensitivity. It is expected that the limit on the spin-independent WIMP-nucleon crosssection extracted from these data will be greatly impacted by a dominant background, called heat-only events. That is why they are studied in detail in this work. They are characterized by a rise in heat seen by thermal sensors without any ionization signal on the collecting electrodes. This study resulted in to highlight a model for these events that can be used in the WIMP search analyses. Following these results, a maximum likelihood analysis was constructed. This method of analysis makes it possible to statistically subtract the background noise from the experiment by exploiting the difference between the energy spectra of signal and backgrounds. In this way, limits on the spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross-section are obtained. They will be compared to the results of other experiments

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