Dark Matter

The General AntiParticle Spectrometer (GAPS) is a balloon-borne experiment to search for signatures of dark matter annihilations in the cosmic rays. GAPS will carry out a highly sensitive search for anti-deuterons in the energy range below 1 GeV. These particles would be a signature for annihilating WIMP dark matter. GAPS is currently under construction with funding from NASA, JAXA and INFN with the initial launch of the scientific instrument scheduled for late 2020.

The XENON project, operated at the Italian Gran Sasso laboratory is a deep underground research facility featuring increasingly more sensitive experiments aiming to detect dark matter particles in the form of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). These particles are detected by looking for the rare interactions to produce nuclear recoils in a liquid xenon target.

The heart of the detector is a large volume of liquid xenon that acts like a dual-phase time projection chamber. The current experiment is called XENON 1T, consisting of 3500 kg of xenon.