DAMA investigations on Dark Matter at Gran Sasso: results and perspectives

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Dark Matter, Galactic Halos

Scientific paper

The DAMA/NaI experiment (~= 100 kg highly radiopure NaI(Tl)) at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory of the I.N.F.N. had the unique feature to effectively investigate the presence of Dark Matter particles in the galactic halo by exploiting the model independent annual modulation signature. A total exposure of more than 105 kg × day, collected over seven annual cycles, has pointed out at 6.3 σ C.L. an effect which satisfies all the many peculiarities of the signature. Neither systematics nor side reactions able to account for the observed effect were found. No experiment whose result can be directly compared in a model independent way with the experimental one of DAMA/NaI is available so far. Searches in space experiments are not in contradiction with DAMA/NaI. Several (but still few with respect to the possibilities) corollary model dependent quests for the candidate particle have also been carried out; others are in progress. At present the second generation DAMA/LIBRA set-up (~= 250 kg highly radiopure NaI(Tl)) is in data taking deep underground.

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