Impact of instrumental noise on direct dark matter search with DarkSide-20k



Dark Matter is one of the main puzzles in fundamental physics and Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMP) are among the best-motivated dark matter particle candidates. As of today, the most sensitive experimental technique to discover the WIMPs in the mass range from 2 GeV to 10 TeV is the dual phase Time Projection Chamber (TPC) filled with noble liquids. DarkSide-20k is the next generation of Liquid Argon (LAr) TPC, which will be running at LNGS (Italy) from 2024 with 50-ton active mass. At that date, DarkSide-20k will be the most massive noble liquid experiment for dark matter search, with the highest discovery potential. Beyond the search for dark matter, DarkSide-20k also has strong potential in neutrino physics, particularly for neutrinos from the Sun and Supernovae. All of this will be possible thanks to the unique scintillation pulse shape discrimination (PSD) technique, able to separate a WIMP candidate event from >109 electron-like events, a power recently demonstrated by the DarkSide-50 and DEAP-3600 collaborations. The PSD, in addition to the neutron veto detector surrounding the TPC, and to the high-granularity of the detector able to reconstruct the event topology with ~1cm resolution, will allow for a dark matter search in an instrumental “background-free” regime, corresponding to <0.1 events across the foreseen 5-year exposure. 

Within the DarkSide program, APC is leading data reconstruction, simulation, and sensitivity studies. In particular, the APC team developed a highly-optimized python-based data reconstruction framework, which uses, among the different algorithms, the matched filter for fast processing signals from the new-generation low-background Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPMs). The performance of the new reconstruction code is going to be tested in small-scale setups within the DarkSide programme, like ReD at LNS (Italy), Proto0 at CERN, and DART at Canfranc (Spain). 

The candidate will characterize SiPM dark and correlated noises, like cross-talks and after-pulses, from one of the mentioned setup. He/she will also measure the energy resolution of the detector using calibration data from radioactive sources. The SiPM and detector properties inferred from these studies will be included in the DarkSide Monte Carlo simulation package to understand the impact of instrumental noise and detector effects on the sensitivity of the experiment.  

During the stage, the candidate will acquire competences in nuclear, particle and astroparticle physics, and skills in Monte Carlo simulations and data reconstruction and analysis. 


Davide Franco






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