Results of the first NaI scintillating calorimeter prototypes by COSINUS.
Over almost three decades the TAUP conference has seen a remarkable momentum gain in direct dark matter search. An important accelerator were first indications for a modulating signal rate in the DAMA/NaI experiment reported in 1997. Today the presence of an annual modulation, which matches in period and phase the expectation for dark matter, is supported at > 9$\sigma$ confidence. The underlying nature of dark matter, however, is still considered an open and fundamental question of particle physics. No other direct dark matter search could confirm the DAMA claim up to now; moreover, numerous null-results are in clear contradiction under so-called standard assumptions for the dark matter halo and the interaction mechanism of dark with ordinary matter. As both bear a dependence on the target material, resolving this controversial situation will convincingly only be possible with an experiment using sodium iodide (NaI) as target. COSINUS aims to even go a step further by combining NaI with a novel detection approach. COSINUS aims to operate NaI as a cryogenic calorimeter reading scintillation light and phonon/heat signal. Two distinct advantages arise from this approach, a substantially lower energy threshold for nuclear recoils and particle identification on an event-by-event basis. These key benefits will allow COSINUS to clarify a possible nuclear recoil origin of the DAMA signal with comparatively little exposure of O(100kg days) and, thereby, answer a long-standing question of particle physics. Today COSINUS is in R&D phase; in this contribution we show results from the 2nd prototype, albeit the first one of the final foreseen detector design. The key finding of this measurement is that pure, undoped NaI is a truly excellent scintillator at low temperatures: We measure 13.1% of the total deposited energy in the NaI crystal in the form of scintillation light (in the light detector).
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.01482
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