Monte Carlo Simulations of Dark Matter Interactions
Title: Monte Carlo Simulations of Dark Matter Interactions
SNIC Project: SNIC 2022/22-38
Project Type: SNIC Small Compute
Principal Investigator: Timon Emken <timon.emken@fysik.su.se>
Affiliation: Stockholms universitet
Duration: 2022-01-14 – 2023-02-01
Classification: 10301
Keywords:

Abstract

Direct detection experiments aim to observe rare interactions between hypothetical, new dark matter particle from the galactic halo of our Milky Way and atoms inside a detector target. If these interactions occur, dark matter particles will also scatter on atoms from within planets and stars. Scatterings prior a detection generally alter the statistical properties of the expected dark matter flux through our detectors. Depending on the location of the scattering (e.g. inside the Earth's mantle, or the Sun's hot core), these interactions could limit or extend the sensitivity of underground dark matter detection experiments. In the case of terrestrial scatterings, the rotation of the Earth could source a daily modulation of dark matter signals, which could be a powerful signature to distinguish a signal from background. Solar scatterings could accelerate dark matter particles leaving them easier to detect. This process is called solar reflection of dark matter and allows to extend the sensitivity of existing experiments to much lower dark matter masses without any additional assumptions or technology. Using Monte Carlo simulations of dark matter trajectories, we can make reliable predictions for the phenomenological impact of underground scatterings on direct dark matter searches.