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  1. Abstract

    Einstein’s general theory of relativity from 19151remains the most successful description of gravitation. From the 1919 solar eclipse2to the observation of gravitational waves3, the theory has passed many crucial experimental tests. However, the evolving concepts of dark matter and dark energy illustrate that there is much to be learned about the gravitating content of the universe. Singularities in the general theory of relativity and the lack of a quantum theory of gravity suggest that our picture is incomplete. It is thus prudent to explore gravity in exotic physical systems. Antimatter was unknown to Einstein in 1915. Dirac’s theory4appeared in 1928; the positron was observed5in 1932. There has since been much speculation about gravity and antimatter. The theoretical consensus is that any laboratory mass must be attracted6by the Earth, although some authors have considered the cosmological consequences if antimatter should be repelled by matter7–10. In the general theory of relativity, the weak equivalence principle (WEP) requires that all masses react identically to gravity, independent of their internal structure. Here we show that antihydrogen atoms, released from magnetic confinement in the ALPHA-g apparatus, behave in a way consistent with gravitational attraction to the Earth. Repulsive ‘antigravity’ is ruled out in this case. This experiment paves the way for precision studies of the magnitude of the gravitational acceleration between anti-atoms and the Earth to test the WEP.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 28, 2024
  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  8. Abstract The Aria cryogenic distillation plant, located in Sardinia, Italy, is a key component of the DarkSide-20k experimental program for WIMP dark matter searches at the INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, Italy. Aria is designed to purify the argon, extracted from underground wells in Colorado, USA, and used as the DarkSide-20k target material, to detector-grade quality. In this paper, we report the first measurement of argon isotopic separation by distillation with the 26 m tall Aria prototype. We discuss the measurement of the operating parameters of the column and the observation of the simultaneous separation of the three stable argon isotopes: $${}^{36}\hbox {Ar}$$ 36 Ar , $${}^{38}\textrm{Ar}$$ 38 Ar , and $${}^{40}\textrm{Ar}$$ 40 Ar . We also provide a detailed comparison of the experimental results with commercial process simulation software. This measurement of isotopic separation of argon is a significant achievement for the project, building on the success of the initial demonstration of isotopic separation of nitrogen using the same equipment in 2019. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024