Experimental Seminars

Development of new cryogenic detectors to extend the physics reach of the CRESST experiment

by Elia Bertoldo (Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich)

IFAE seminar room (IFAE)

IFAE seminar room



The vast presence of dark matter in the Universe is nowadays one of the biggest unresolved mysteries of science. One of the ongoing attempts is to solve this problem through particle physics, meaning that dark matter would be composed by one or more elementary particles. Unfortunately, there is not an obvious solution offered by particle physics, since none of the particles known today can be the main component of dark matter. One of the most successful experiments involved in the search for hypothetical dark matter particles is CRESST. This experiment employs extremely sensitive cryogenic detectors aimed at detecting dark matter particles reaching Earth. The idea is that these dark matter particles can eventually interact with one of the detectors placed inside an underground laboratory on Earth, leaving a feeble trace.  

In the past decades, CRESST has mostly focused on probing a specific type of interactions between dark matter particles and ordinary matter, called spin-independent interactions. However, CRESST in the years has developed a cutting-edge technology which allows the exploration of a wider range of interactions in astroparticle physics. One of the straightforward expansions of the CRESST dark matter search is the investigation of spin-dependent interactions, which can be performed with the adoption of Lithium-containing crystals. Furthermore, the superconducting thermometers developed by CRESST can be used to probe almost any physical phenomenon that requires a low energy threshold in combination with a high energy resolution. One of the applications of CRESST-like thermometers is the search of solar axions employing a target crystal containing $^{169}$Tm.

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