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High Energy Physics Seminar

Monday, March 22, 2021
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Online Event
The DarkSide of the Standard Model: Searching for dark matter DEAP underground with liquid argon
Shawn Westerdale, INFN and Princeton University,

Dark matter comprises 80% of the mass of all matter in the universe. Despite this abundance, its nature remains a complete mystery. While several theories predict dark matter candidates, no experimental evidence to date can confirm them. Many experimental efforts are currently underway, aiming to directly detect some of the most promising candidates -- a challenge akin to finding a needle in a haystack. To accomplish this, large detectors can be built deep underground, where backgrounds are greatly reduced. In this seminar, I will review techniques used to search for dark matter, focusing on the DarkSide-50 and DEAP-3600 liquid argon-based detectors. I will discuss significant advances that have been made in modeling and mitigating backgrounds for these dark matter searches to achieve current limits on dark matter couplings to the Standard Model, followed by a discussion of some future directions for the field and how we can broaden our searches.

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