Measuring the local dark matter density in the laboratory
Journal article, 2021

Despite strong evidence for the existence of large amounts of dark matter (DM) in our Universe, there is no direct indication of its presence in our own solar system. All estimates of the local DM density rely on extrapolating results on much larger scales. We demonstrate for the first time the possibility of simultaneously measuring the local DM density and interaction cross section with a direct detection experiment. It relies on the assumption that incoming DM particles frequently scatter on terrestrial nuclei prior to detection, inducing an additional time-dependence of the signal. We show that for sub-GeV DM, with a large spin-independent DM-proton cross section, future direct detection experiments should be able to reconstruct the local DM density with smaller than 50% uncertainty.


Bradley J. Kavanagh

University of Amsterdam

Timon Emken

Chalmers, Physics, Subatomic, High Energy and Plasma Physics

Riccardo Catena

Chalmers, Physics, Subatomic, High Energy and Plasma Physics

Physical Review D

2470-0010 (ISSN) 2470-0029 (eISSN)

Vol. 104 8 083023

Subject Categories

Accelerator Physics and Instrumentation

Subatomic Physics

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics



Related datasets

Earth-scattering likelihoods: Likelihood and p-value tables for reconstructing the local Dark Matter Density [dataset]

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3739340

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