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Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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GRK 2044
Physikalisches Institut
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Hermann-Herder-Str. 3
79104 Freiburg

+49 761 203 5715

Maria Martinez, University of Zaragoza

Title: Dark matter annual modulation and ANAIS-112 results: testing the DAMA/LIBRA positive signal

The evidence for dark matter (DM) is overwhelming from astrophysical and cosmological observations at all scales. Yet, its existence is inferred indirectly through gravitational effects, but its nature is still unknown. Among the preferred DM particle candidates are Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), new particles beyond the standard model (SM) with weak-scale couplings to SM particles. WIMPs in the Milky Way halo are expected to scatter off the nuclei of a particle detector located in the Earth, with an interaction rate that depends on their relative velocity with respect to the Earth. As a consequence of the Earth rotation around the Sun, this velocity varies with 1 year periodicity, and so does the expected interaction rate (annual modulation). For more than 20 years, the DAMA/LIBRA experiment at the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory (Italy) has claimed a positive dark matter detection: an annual modulation in the low-energy detection rate compatible with the expected signal induced by dark matter particles. This signal is in strong tension with the negative results of other very sensitive experiments. However, a direct comparison using the same target material (NaI(Tl)) was lacking until ANAIS-112 and COSINE-100 experiments started taking data in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

In this seminar I will review the current status of dark matter annual modulation searches and in particular the DAMA/LIBRA positive result and the status of the experiments trying to reproduce it. Then I will introduce the ANAIS-112 experimental set-up in the Canfranc Underground Laboratory (Spain), the detector performance and analysis methods. Finally, I will present the two-years results, the experimental sensitivity and their implications in the resolution of the DAMA/LIBRA puzzle.

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