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QUEST-DMC superfluid 3 He detector for sub-GeV dark matter

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • QUEST-DMC Collaboration
Article number248
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>8/03/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>European Physical Journal C: Particles and Fields
Issue number3
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The focus of dark matter searches to date has been on Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) in the GeV/c2-TeV/c2 mass range. The direct, indirect and collider searches in this mass range have been extensive but ultimately unsuccessful, providing a strong motivation for widening the search outside this range. Here we describe a new concept for a dark matter experiment, employing superfluid 3He as a detector for dark matter that is close to the mass of the proton, of order 1 GeV/c2. The QUEST-DMC detector concept is based on quasiparticle detection in a bolometer cell by a nanomechanical resonator. In this paper we develop the energy measurement methodology and detector response model, simulate candidate dark matter signals and expected background interactions, and calculate the sensitivity of such a detector. We project that such a detector can reach sub-eV nuclear recoil energy threshold, opening up new windows on the parameter space of both spin-dependent and spin-independent interactions of light dark matter candidates.