2 The Hunt for Dark Matter
Dr. James Battat,
2008-2011 Pappalardo Fellow (Dark Matter & Neutrino Physics)
The Standard Model of particle physics cannot account for 80% of the matter in the Universe. This mystery looms large over physics, and has stimulated an international program to identify dark matter. In traditional direct detection experiments, the putative signatures of the interaction of dark matter with a target nucleus are difficult to measure, and are easily mimicked by the vastly more abundant background events. A much more definitive signature does exist--the direction of arrival of dark matter--but traditional detectors are not sensitive to this quantity. In this talk, I will describe the Dark Matter Time Projection Chamber (DMTPC) detector, designed to sense this smoking-gun signature of dark matter.