In the past decades, numerous experiments have emerged to unveil the nature of dark matter (DM), one of the most discussed open questions in modern particle physics. Direct detection experiments aim to measure the scattering of DM particles off a target material. The expected DM scattering rate increases exponentially towards lower nuclear recoil energies, and is inversely proportional to the DM mass, thus a low detection threshold is crucial to measure light dark matter. The lowest nuclear recoil thresholds today are of O(10 eV) and are reached with detectors that use superconducting thermometers for the collection of athermal phonons from monocristalline targets. In this lecture, we review the challenges in the direct search for light dark matter and cover the technology of superconducting thermometers in detail.
About the speaker
Felix Wagner is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of High Energy Physics (HEPHY) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He is working on the CRESST and COSINS direct detection dark matter experiments and has published software and methods for the analysis of cryogenic particle detectors with superconducting thermometers.