The DEAP-3600 experiment is currently running at SNOLAB and uses a liquid noble gas to detect dark matter. It is a large acrylic sphere filled with 3.6 tonnes of liquid argon kept close to -180 degrees Celsius and surrounded by light detectors. If a particle enters the sphere, it should interact with the liquid argon, producing ultraviolet light that the light detectors would pick up. If enough of the detectors record the light, the interaction is recorded and reviewed so scientists can determine if it was a dark matter particle.
A follow-up to the DEAP-3600 detector, DARKSIDE-20k is a multi-hundred tonne argon project at the beginning of development. The detector is based on a dual-phase time projection chamber (TPC) hosted in a cyrostat like the one developed for ProtoDUNE, the prototype for the DUNE neutrino experiment. It’s WIMP-nucleon scattering sensitivity is designed to be near that set by fundamental backgrounds from atmospheric neutrinos.
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