The XENON experiment searches for dark matter particles called WIMPs using liquid xenon (LXe) as the active target. The detector is a 3D position sensitive Time Projection Chamber optimized to simultaneously measure the ionization and scintillation produced by a recoil event of energy as low as 16 keV. The distinct ratio of the two signals for nuclear recoils arising from WIMPs and neutrons and for electron recoils from the dominant gamma-ray background determines its event-by-event discrimination. With 1 ton of LXe distributed in ten identical modules, the proposed XENON1T experiment will achieve a sensitivity more than a factor of thousand beyond current limits. A phased program will test a 10 kg detector (XENON10) followed by a 100 kg (XENON100) one as unit module for the XENON1T scale experiment. We review the progress of the XENON R & D phase before presenting the status of XENON10. The experiment will be based at the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory and is expected to start data taking in early 2006.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)