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  1. Abstract Bubble chambers using liquid xenon (and liquid argon) have been operated (resp. planned) by the Scintillating Bubble Chamber (SBC) collaboration for GeV-scale dark matter searches and CE ν NS from reactors. This will require a robust calibration program of the nucleation efficiency of low-energy nuclear recoils in these target media. Such a program has been carried out by the PICO collaboration, which aims to directly detect dark matter using C 3 F 8 bubble chambers. Neutron calibration data from mono-energetic neutron beam and Am-Be source has been collected and analyzed, leading to a global fit of a generic nucleation efficiency model for carbon and fluorine recoils, at thermodynamic thresholds of 2.45 and 3.29 keV. Fitting the many-dimensional model to the data (34 free parameters) is a non-trivial computational challenge, addressed with a custom Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach, which will be presented. Parametric MC studies undertaken to validate this methodology are also discussed. This fit paradigm demonstrated for the PICO calibration will be applied to existing and future scintillating bubble chamber calibration data.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. Abstract The field of dark matter detection is a highly visible and highly competitive one. In this paper, we propose recommendations for presenting dark matter direct detection results particularly suited for weak-scale dark matter searches, although we believe the spirit of the recommendations can apply more broadly to searches for other dark matter candidates, such as very light dark matter or axions. To translate experimental data into a final published result, direct detection collaborations must make a series of choices in their analysis, ranging from how to model astrophysical parameters to how to make statistical inferences based on observed data. While many collaborations follow a standard set of recommendations in some areas, for example the expected flux of dark matter particles (to a large degree based on a paper from Lewin and Smith in 1995), in other areas, particularly in statistical inference, they have taken different approaches, often from result to result by the same collaboration. We set out a number of recommendations on how to apply the now commonly used Profile Likelihood Ratio method to direct detection data. In addition, updated recommendations for the Standard Halo Model astrophysical parameters and relevant neutrino fluxes are provided. The authors of thismore »note include members of the DAMIC, DarkSide, DARWIN, DEAP, LZ, NEWS-G, PandaX, PICO, SBC, SENSEI, SuperCDMS, and XENON collaborations, and these collaborations provided input to the recommendations laid out here. Wide-spread adoption of these recommendations will make it easier to compare and combine future dark matter results.« less
  3. 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 ones 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 2more ») 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