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Title: Indirect measurement of the $$^3\hbox {He}$$(n,p)$$^3\hbox {H}$$ reaction cross section at Big Bang energies
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  1. Abstract

    Aria is a plant hosting a$${350}\,\hbox {m}$$350mcryogenic isotopic distillation column, the tallest ever built, which is being installed in a mine shaft at Carbosulcis S.p.A., Nuraxi-Figus (SU), Italy. Aria is one of the pillars of the argon dark-matter search experimental program, lead by the Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration. It was designed to reduce the isotopic abundance of$${^{39}\hbox {Ar}}$$39Arin argon extracted from underground sources, called Underground Argon (UAr), which is used for dark-matter searches. Indeed,$${^{39}\hbox {Ar}}$$39Aris a$$\beta $$β-emitter of cosmogenic origin, whose activity poses background and pile-up concerns in the detectors. In this paper, we discuss the requirements, design, construction, tests, and projected performance of the plant for the isotopic cryogenic distillation of argon. We also present the successful results of the isotopic cryogenic distillation of nitrogen with a prototype plant.