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Technique for direct detection of weakly interacting massive particles using scintillation time discrimination in liquid argon

Authors
Journal
Astroparticle Physics
0927-6505
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
25
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.astropartphys.2005.12.009
Keywords
  • Dark Matter
  • Scintillation
  • Argon
  • Weakly Interacting Massive Particle
  • Cryogenic
Disciplines
  • Physics

Abstract

Abstract Discrimination between electron and nuclear recoil events in a liquid argon scintillation detector has been demonstrated with simulations by using the differences in the scintillation photon time distribution between these classes of events. A discrimination power greater than 10 8 is predicted for a liquid argon experiment with a 10 keV threshold, which would mitigate electron and γ-ray backgrounds, including β decays of 39Ar and 42Ar in atmospheric argon. A dark matter search using a ∼2 kg argon target viewed by immersed photomultiplier tubes would allow a sensitivity to a spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross-section of ∼10 −43 cm 2 for a 100 GeV WIMP, assuming a one-year exposure. This technique could be used to scale the target mass to the tonne scale, allowing a sensitivity of ∼10 −46 cm 2.

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