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Going Beyond the WIMP: From Theory to Detection of Light Dark Matter

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "LDMThExp" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RAMAT AVIV
city: TEL AVIV
postcode: 69978

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Israel [IL]
 Total cost 1˙822˙083 €
 EC max contribution 1˙822˙083 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-03-01   to  2022-02-28


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY IL (TEL AVIV) coordinator 1˙822˙083.00


 Project objective

The identity of dark matter (DM) is still unknown. For more than three decades, significant theoretical and experimental efforts have been directed towards the search for a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP), often overlooking other possibilities. The lack of an unambiguous positive signal, at indirect- and direct-detection experiments and at the LHC, stresses the need to expand on other theoretical possibilities, and more importantly, to develop new experimental capabilities. Indeed it is conceivable that the WIMP paradigm has been misleading, and other theoretically motivated scenarios must be explored vigorously. This proposal focuses on light, sub-GeV dark matter. In addition to novel theoretical paradigms that point to DM in the low-mass regime, several new strategies to directly detect dark matter particles with MeV to GeV mass, far below standard direct detection capabilities, are studied. In particular, techniques to search for ionized electrons or chemical bond-breaking are considered. The latter possibility is revolutionary and requires new dedicated technologies and experiments. Sensitivity to one or few electrons, on the other hand, has been established and the PI has recently derived the first direct-detection limits on MeV to GeV dark matter using XENON10 data, demonstrating proof-of-principle. Significant efforts are required to lay the theoretical foundation of light DM and to study in depth and develop the various possibilities to directly detect it. The proposal is centered around these efforts. The innovative theoretical paradigms and novel avenues to experimentally detect sub-GeV DM, open up a new and groundbreaking field of research. The proposal at hand takes the necessary steps, and offers the opportunity to pave the way and enable the discovery of such a particle, if it exists.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Walter Tangarife, Kohsaku Tobioka, Lorenzo Ubaldi, Tomer Volansky
Dynamics of relaxed inflation
published pages: , ISSN: 1029-8479, DOI: 10.1007/jhep02(2018)084
Journal of High Energy Physics 2018/2 2019-06-18
2017 Walter Tangarife , Kohsaku Tobioka , Lorenzo Ubaldi, Tomer Volansky
Relaxed Inflation
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2017 Itay M. Bloch, Rouven Essig, Kohsaku Tobioka, Tomer Volansky, Tien-Tien Yu
Searching for dark absorption with direct detection experiments
published pages: , ISSN: 1029-8479, DOI: 10.1007/JHEP06(2017)087
Journal of High Energy Physics 2017/6 2019-06-18
2018 Ranny Budnik, Ori Cheshnovsky, Oren Slone, Tomer Volansky
Direct detection of light dark matter and solar neutrinos via color center production in crystals
published pages: 242-250, ISSN: 0370-2693, DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2018.04.063
Physics Letters B 782 2019-06-18
2017 Rouven Essig, Tomer Volansky, Tien-Tien Yu
New constraints and prospects for sub-GeV dark matter scattering off electrons in xenon
published pages: , ISSN: 2470-0010, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.96.043017
Physical Review D 96/4 2019-06-18
2017 Rouven Essig, Jeremy Mardon, Oren Slone, Tomer Volansky
Detection of sub-GeV dark matter and solar neutrinos via chemical-bond breaking
published pages: , ISSN: 2470-0010, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.95.056011
Physical Review D 95/5 2019-06-18
2017 Javier Tiffenberg, Miguel Sofo-Haro, Alex Drlica-Wagner, Rouven Essig, Yann Guardincerri, Steve Holland, Tomer Volansky, Tien-Tien Yu
Single-Electron and Single-Photon Sensitivity with a Silicon Skipper CCD
published pages: , ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.131802
Physical Review Letters 119/13 2019-06-18
2019 Adam Falkowski, Eric Kuflik, Noam Levi, Tomer Volansky
Light dark matter from leptogenesis
published pages: , ISSN: 2470-0010, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.99.015022
Physical Review D 99/1 2019-06-06
2019 Orr Abramoff, Liron Barak, Itay M. Bloch, Luke Chaplinsky, Michael Crisler, Dawa, Alex Drlica-Wagner, Rouven Essig, Juan Estrada, Erez Etzion, Guillermo Fernandez, Daniel Gift, Miguel Sofo-Haro, Joseph Taenzer, Javier Tiffenberg, Tomer Volansky, Tien-Tien Yu
SENSEI: Direct-Detection Constraints on Sub-GeV Dark Matter from a Shallow Underground Run Using a Prototype Skipper CCD
published pages: , ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.161801
Physical Review Letters 122/16 2019-06-06

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