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Current status of direct dark matter detection experiments


Much like ordinary matter, dark matter might consist of elementary particles, and weakly interacting massive particles are one of the prime suspects. During the past decade, the sensitivity of experiments trying to directly detect them has improved by three to four orders of magnitude, but solid evidence for their existence is yet to come. We overview the recent progress in direct dark matter detection experiments and discuss future directions.

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Figure 1: Upper limits on the spin-independent (SI) WIMP–nucleon scattering cross-section set by current leading experiments.
Figure 2: Upper limits on the spin-dependent (SD) WIMP–proton scattering cross-section set by different experiments.
Figure 3: Upper limits on the spin-dependent WIMP–neutron scattering cross-section set by different xenon-based experiments.
Figure 4: The projected sensitivity (dashed curves) on the spin-independent WIMP–nucleon cross-sections of a selected number of upcoming and planned direct detection experiments, including XENON1T34, PandaX-4T, XENONnT34, LZ35, DARWIN36 or PandaX-30T, and SuperCDMS56.


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This work is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation of China (Nos. 11435008, 11455001, 11505112 and 11525522), a grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant No. 2016YFA0400301), and in part by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Particle Physics (CCEPP), the Key Laboratory for Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology, Ministry of Education, and Shanghai Key Laboratory for Particle Physics and Cosmology (SKLPPC). Finally, we thank the Hong Kong Hongwen Foundation for financial support.

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Correspondence to Xiangdong Ji.

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Liu, J., Chen, X. & Ji, X. Current status of direct dark matter detection experiments. Nature Phys 13, 212–216 (2017).

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