Dark Matter group at IKP
The Dark Matter group at the Institute of Nuclear Physics (IKP) of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) searches primarily for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) as possible candidates for "dark matter", one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.
The XENON collaboration comprises 163 scientists from 28 institutions across 11 countries. Five German institutions are significantly involved: The Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, the Universities of Münster, Mainz and Freiburg as well as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The XENON1T experiment running from 2016 to 2018 is being upgraded to its next phase, XENONnT, with an active xenon mass three times larger and a background that is expected to be lower by a factor 6, thus improving even further the world-record sensitivity of XENON1T. XENONnT is expected to start commissioning in 2020. The KIT group is involved in the setup of XENONnT and in the upcoming data analysis.
DARk matter WImp search with liquid xenoN (DARWIN) is a future experiment for the direct detection of dark matter based on a multi-ton liquid xenon time projection chamber. DARWIN is a collaborative project of 29 institutions from 12 countries building on the highly successful dual-phase xenon technology developed and explored in the XENON experiment series (XENON10, XENON100, XENON1T). KIT is a founding member of the DARWIN collaboration. We contribute e.g. to the electrostatic design of the TPC, on the suppression of background and on sensitivity studies for Dark Matter and other searches for physics beyond the Standard Model.
The EDELWEISS collaboration consists of scientists from 4 countries. The experimental setup is based on array of Germanium bolometers installed in the Frejus road tunnel in the underground laboratory (Laboratoire Souterrain de Modane, LSM), which shields the experiment by 1800m of rock (4850 m.w.e.). The bolometer detectors can detect WIMPs via their elastic scattering off Germanium nuclei and have an excellent background rejection power. In the research group at the Institute for Nuclear Physics (IKP), the muon veto system was designed, built and operated. Besides the analysis of experimental data, we also provided a new electronic data read-out in cooperation with our partner institute IPE at KIT. The EDELWEISS experiment is concentrating on the search of so-called low mass WIMPs with masses in the GeV range.