Particle and Astro-Particle Physics Seminars

New signals and old backgrounds in dark matter direct detection.

by Josef Pradler (Perimeter Institute)

TH Theory Conference Room (CERN)

TH Theory Conference Room


In this talk we discuss mundane and less mundane origins of reported "anomalies" in direct detection experiments. First we explore the possibility that solar neutrinos with enhanced baryonic currents can induce elastic scattering signals in underground rare event searches. The scenario constitutes a viable extension of the Standard Model. We scrutinize it as a possible explanation for DAMA, CoGeNT, and CRESST-II and confront it with constraints from other null experiments. In a second part, we examine recent claims that the cosmic ray muon flux can be responsible for generating the modulation signals seen by DAMA and, more recently, by the CoGeNT collaboration. We find no evidence for such a strong correlation and show that the two phenomena differ in their power spectrum, phase, and possibly in amplitude. Finally, we point out the possibility of higher harmonics in modulation signals which could provide another handle in searching for Dark Matter in the laboratory.