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  1. Abstract

    The direct search for dark matter in the form of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMP) is performed by detecting nuclear recoils produced in a target material from the WIMP elastic scattering. The experimental identification of the direction of the WIMP-induced nuclear recoils is a crucial asset in this field, as it enables unmistakable modulation signatures for dark matter. The Recoil Directionality (ReD) experiment was designed to probe for such directional sensitivity in argon dual-phase time projection chambers (TPC), that are widely considered for current and future direct dark matter searches. The TPC of ReD was irradiated with neutrons at the INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud. Data were taken with nuclear recoils of known directions and kinetic energy of 72 keV, which is within the range of interest for WIMP-induced signals in argon. The direction-dependent liquid argon charge recombination model by Cataudella et al. was adopted and a likelihood statistical analysis was performed, which gave no indications of significant dependence of the detector response to the recoil direction. The aspect ratioRof the initial ionization cloud is$$R < 1.072$$R<1.072with 90 % confidence level.

     
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  2. Abstract

    We present a novel approach for the search of dark matter in the DarkSide-50 experiment, relying on Bayesian Networks. This method incorporates the detector response model into the likelihood function, explicitly maintaining the connection with the quantity of interest. No assumptions about the linearity of the problem or the shape of the probability distribution functions are required, and there is no need to morph signal and background spectra as a function of nuisance parameters. By expressing the problem in terms of Bayesian Networks, we have developed an inference algorithm based on a Markov Chain Monte Carlo to calculate the posterior probability. A clever description of the detector response model in terms of parametric matrices allows us to study the impact of systematic variations of any parameter on the final results. Our approach not only provides the desired information on the parameter of interest, but also potential constraints on the response model. Our results are consistent with recent published analyses and further refine the parameters of the detector response model.

     
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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  6. Abstract A double-phase argon Time Projection Chamber (TPC), with an active mass of 185 g, has been designed and constructed for the Recoil Directionality (ReD) experiment. The aim of the ReD project is to investigate the directional sensitivity of argon-based TPCs via columnar recombination to nuclear recoils in the energy range of interest (20– $$200\,\hbox {keV}_{nr}$$ 200 keV nr ) for direct dark matter searches. The key novel feature of the ReD TPC is a readout system based on cryogenic Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPMs), which are employed and operated continuously for the first time in an argon TPC. Over the course of 6 months, the ReD TPC was commissioned and characterised under various operating conditions using $$\gamma $$ γ -ray and neutron sources, demonstrating remarkable stability of the optical sensors and reproducibility of the results. The scintillation gain and ionisation amplification of the TPC were measured to be $$g_1 = (0.194 \pm 0.013)$$ g 1 = ( 0.194 ± 0.013 ) photoelectrons/photon and $$g_2 = (20.0 \pm 0.9)$$ g 2 = ( 20.0 ± 0.9 ) photoelectrons/electron, respectively. The ratio of the ionisation to scintillation signals (S2/S1), instrumental for the positive identification of a candidate directional signal induced by WIMPs, has been investigated for both nuclear and electron recoils. At a drift field of 183 V/cm, an S2/S1 dispersion of 12% was measured for nuclear recoils of approximately 60– $$90\,\hbox {keV}_{nr}$$ 90 keV nr , as compared to 18% for electron recoils depositing 60 keV of energy. The detector performance reported here meets the requirements needed to achieve the principal scientific goals of the ReD experiment in the search for a directional effect due to columnar recombination. A phenomenological parameterisation of the recombination probability in LAr is presented and employed for modeling the dependence of scintillation quenching and charge yield on the drift field for electron recoils between 50–500 keV and fields up to 1000 V/cm. 
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  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024