DAMA and CoGeNT without Dark Matter

Who: Jonathan Davis (Durham University)
When: Monday, August 18, 2014 at 14:15
Where: The CP³ meeting room

Direct Detection experiments aim to detect evidence of Dark Matter scattering with nuclei. Two such experiments: DAMA/LIBRA and CoGeNT have both claimed a positive detection of Dark Matter. For the former this takes the form of an annually modulated event rate, and for the latter an excess of low-energy events. However the regions of Dark Matter parameter space favoured by these experiments are in strong tension with the null results from e.g. LUX, XENON100 and SuperCDMS. Hence in this talk I discuss alternative explanations of the DAMA and CoGeNT events which do not invoke Dark Matter. I show that the DAMA modulation is equally well explained by neutrons liberated by a combination of boron-8 solar neutrinos and atmospheric muons in the rock or shielding around the detector. Additionally I show that the CoGeNT low-energy excess can be attributed entirely to backgrounds originating on the surface of the detector.

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