Direct Searches for Dark Matter with XENON

The Mainz XENON group is part of the research group on experimental particle and astroparticle physics (ETAP: Experimentelle Teilchen und AstroteilchenPhysik) in the Institut für Physik at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität.

Our research is focused on Dark Matter detection. Astrophysical observations tell us that about 85% of all matter in the Universe consists of a new and as yet unknown type of matter, so-called non-baryonic Dark Matter. Not only does Dark Matter not emit light, as the name suggests, but it is also completely transparent. What is the nature of this elusive Dark Matter? This is one of the central questions in physics today. We are addressing this question by searching for rare interactions of Dark Matter particles with regular matter in sensitive detectors. These detectors for direct search of Dark Matter are located deep underground to shield them from cosmic rays.

Overview: Direct Searches for Dark Matter with XENON (located at ETAP pages on research)

Poster on Dark Matter Search with XENON100 (Status 2010)

New results from the XENON100 Experiment (July 18 2012)

The XENON100 experiment, located in the Gran Sasso mountain in central Italy , recently released results from the last run (2011-2012). These data were acquired over 224.6 days within a fiducial volume containing 34 kg of liquid xenon and with an ultra low electromagnetic background. After unblinding the region of interest, two events were observed, consistent with the total background expectation of (1.0 +-0.2) events. A Profile Likelihood analysis of these data leads to the best upper limit on the spin independent elastic WIMP-nucleon scattering cross section, with a minimum of 2 x 10-45 cm2 at 55 GeV/c2 and 90% confidence level (arXiv paper).
Latest results from 225 live days of XENON100 data : Upper Limit (90% C.L.) is 2 x 10-45 cm2 for 55 GeV/c2 WIMP
Latest results from 100 live days of XENON100 data (press release, arXiv, PRL ) New measurements of the scintillation efficiency of low-energy nuclear recoils in liquid xenon (arXiv and PRL )
First Dark Matter Results from the XENON100 Experiment ( PRL , arXiv:1005.0380) Inside copper shield of the XENON100 detector
R. Santorelli (Zurich), G. Plante (Columbia), S. Fattori (formerly LNGS, now Mainz), and E. Tziaferi (Zurich) around the TPC Mesh of the XENON100 TPC
Bottom PMT array Top PMT array
View of the TPC of XENON 100 XENON100 DAQ system