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  1. Abstract Understanding propagation of scintillation light is critical for maximizing the discovery potential of next-generation liquid xenon detectors that use dual-phase time projection chamber technology. This work describes a detailed optical simulation of the DARWIN detector implemented using Chroma, a GPU-based photon tracking framework. To evaluate the framework and to explore ways of maximizing efficiency and minimizing the time of light collection, we simulate several variations of the conventional detector design. Results of these selected studies are presented. More generally, we conclude that the approach used in this work allows one to investigate alternative designs faster and in more detailmore »than using conventional Geant4 optical simulations, making it an attractive tool to guide the development of the ultimate liquid xenon observatory.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Abstract The DARWIN observatory is a proposed next-generation experiment to search for particle dark matter and for the neutrinoless double beta decay of $$^{136}$$ 136 Xe. Out of its 50 t total natural xenon inventory, 40 t will be the active target of a time projection chamber which thus contains about 3.6 t of $$^{136}$$ 136 Xe. Here, we show that its projected half-life sensitivity is $$2.4\times {10}^{27}\,{\hbox {year}}$$ 2.4 × 10 27 year , using a fiducial volume of 5 t of natural xenon and 10 year of operation with a background rate of less than 0.2 events/(t  $$\cdot $$ ·  year) in the energymore »region of interest. This sensitivity is based on a detailed Monte Carlo simulation study of the background and event topologies in the large, homogeneous target. DARWIN will be comparable in its science reach to dedicated double beta decay experiments using xenon enriched in $$^{136}$$ 136 Xe.« less
  3. Abstract We detail the sensitivity of the proposed liquid xenon DARWIN observatory to solar neutrinos via elastic electron scattering. We find that DARWIN will have the potential to measure the fluxes of five solar neutrino components: pp , $$^7$$ 7 Be, $$^{13}$$ 13 N, $$^{15}$$ 15 O and pep . The precision of the $$^{13}$$ 13 N, $$^{15}$$ 15 O and pep components is hindered by the double-beta decay of $$^{136}$$ 136 Xe and, thus, would benefit from a depleted target. A high-statistics observation of pp neutrinos would allow us to infer the values of the electroweak mixing angle, $$\sinmore »^2\theta _w$$ sin 2 θ w , and the electron-type neutrino survival probability, $$P_{ee}$$ P ee , in the electron recoil energy region from a few keV up to 200 keV for the first time, with relative precision of 5% and 4%, respectively, with 10 live years of data and a 30 tonne fiducial volume. An observation of pp and $$^7$$ 7 Be neutrinos would constrain the neutrino-inferred solar luminosity down to 0.2%. A combination of all flux measurements would distinguish between the high- (GS98) and low-metallicity (AGS09) solar models with 2.1–2.5 $$\sigma $$ σ significance, independent of external measurements from other experiments or a measurement of $$^8$$ 8 B neutrinos through coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering in DARWIN. Finally, we demonstrate that with a depleted target DARWIN may be sensitive to the neutrino capture process of $$^{131}$$ 131 Xe.« less
  4. Abstract Adopting the Standard Halo Model (SHM) of an isotropic Maxwellian velocity distribution for dark matter (DM) particles in the Galaxy, the most stringent current constraints on their spin-dependent scattering cross-section with nucleons come from the IceCube neutrino observatory and the PICO-60 $$\hbox {C}_3\hbox {F}_8$$ C 3 F 8 superheated bubble chamber experiments. The former is sensitive to high energy neutrinos from the self-annihilation of DM particles captured in the Sun, while the latter looks for nuclear recoil events from DM scattering off nucleons. Although slower DM particles are more likely to be captured by the Sun, the faster onesmore »are more likely to be detected by PICO. Recent N-body simulations suggest significant deviations from the SHM for the smooth halo component of the DM, while observations hint at a dominant fraction of the local DM being in substructures. We use the method of Ferrer et al. (JCAP 1509: 052, 2015) to exploit the complementarity between the two approaches and derive conservative constraints on DM-nucleon scattering. Our results constrain $$\sigma _{\mathrm{SD}} \lesssim 3 \times 10^{-39} \mathrm {cm}^2$$ σ SD ≲ 3 × 10 - 39 cm 2 ( $$6 \times 10^{-38} \mathrm {cm}^2$$ 6 × 10 - 38 cm 2 ) at $$\gtrsim 90\%$$ ≳ 90 % C.L. for a DM particle of mass 1 TeV annihilating into $$\tau ^+ \tau ^-$$ τ + τ - ( $$b\bar{b}$$ b b ¯ ) with a local density of $$\rho _{\mathrm{DM}} = 0.3~\mathrm {GeV/cm}^3$$ ρ DM = 0.3 GeV / cm 3 . The constraints scale inversely with $$\rho _{\mathrm{DM}}$$ ρ DM and are independent of the DM velocity distribution.« less