A DEAP Search for Dark Matter

by Dr Joseph Walding
(Royal Holloway, University of London)

The nature of dark matter is one of the major questions in modern physics. First proposed by Zwicky in 1933 to explain the motions of the galaxies in the Coma cluster, today there is strong astronomical evidence for dark matter from the galactic to the largest cosmological scales, with the most recent results from PLANCK indicating that dark matter constitutes 27% of the energy density of the Universe compared to just 5% for ordinary matter. However despite the wealth of astronomical data the composition of dark matter is still unknown.

DEAP-3600 is a dark matter experiment aiming to answer this question by searching for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), a leading theoretical dark matter candidate motivated by extensions to the Standard Model. Consisting of a 3 tonne single-phase liquid argon detector located 2km underground at SNOLAB, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, DEAP aims to achieve a target sensitivity to spin-independent scattering for 100 GeV WIMPs of 10-46 cm2.

This seminar will present an overview of the DEAP-3600 experiment with results from the first physics analysis as well as an outlook to the next generation of dark matter detectors.