Dark Matter

At UNM our programs include several Direct (laboratory) and Indirect (particle astrophysics) experiments searching for Dark Matter.

Laboratory experiments search for a signal for dark matter particle scattering from conventional nuclei. The DEAP/CLEAN experiment envisages a series of detectors in increasing size (target mass). The UNM group has lead several components of the construction and commissioning of the MiniCLEAN experiment at the SNOLab deep underground laboratory.

The DRIFT experiment is a US-UK collaboration. DRIFT has working detectors in the Boulby mine deep underground site in the UK. DRIFTis currently the leading directional dark matter experiment with over 2 orders of magnitude better limits than the next best experiment. The UNM group has a major R&D program on the development of ``next generation'' GEM based detector readout. The focus of the program is to exploit the benefits of negative ion time projection chamber (NITPC) detectors that can be operated at low pressures (e.g. 30 Torr CS_2 - 10 Torr CF_4) with long ~50cm drift distances with r.m.s diffusion <0.7mm and with ~2mm track lengths for ~40keV-Fluorine recoil thresholds: in other words clear tracks (for directionality) and low threshold for high sensitivity. Publications here   Additionally, 3 preprints can be accessed here, here and here

Particle astrophysics experiments search for a signal for dark matter particle annihilation or decay. The HAWC experiment provides an important 1TeV to 1000TeV high-mass window for indirect searches for dark matter (eg WIMP) annihilation or decay to gamma-rays. The UNM particle astrophysics group is co-leading the likelihood analysis framework used to extract dark matter signals (or limits) from HAWC data.