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The dark Universe studied from deep underground: Exploring the low-mass frontier Federica Petricca

Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 11:15 to 12:30 Auditorium

Today, many observations on various astronomical scales provide compelling evidence for the existence of dark matter. Its underlying nature, however, remains an open question of present-day physics. The CRESST experiment is a direct dark matter search which aims to measure interactions of potential dark matter particles in an earth-bound detector, using scintillating CaWO4 crystals as target material operated as cryogenic calorimeters at millikelvin temperatures. Each interaction in CaWO4 produces a phonon signal in the target crystal and also a light signal that is measured by a secondary cryogenic calorimeter. This technology is particularly sensitive to small energy deposits induced by light dark matter particles, allowing the experiment to probe the low-mass region of the parameter space for spin-independent dark matter-nucleon scattering with high sensitivity. Results obtained in the first run of CRESST-III with a detector achieving a nuclear recoil threshold of 30.1 eV, probing dark matter particle masses down to 0.16 GeV/c2, will be presented.