• The XENON1T experiment: Monte Carlo background estimation and sensitivity curves study
  • Massoli, Fabio Valerio <1987>


  • FIS/01 Fisica sperimentale


  • Despite the scientific achievement of the last decades in the astrophysical and cosmological fields, the majority of the Universe energy content is still unknown. A potential solution to the “missing mass problem” is the existence of dark matter in the form of WIMPs. Due to the very small cross section for WIMP-nuleon interactions, the number of expected events is very limited (about 1 ev/tonne/year), thus requiring detectors with large target mass and low background level. The aim of the XENON1T experiment, the first tonne-scale LXe based detector, is to be sensitive to WIMP-nucleon cross section as low as 10^-47 cm^2. To investigate the possibility of such a detector to reach its goal, Monte Carlo simulations are mandatory to estimate the background. To this aim, the GEANT4 toolkit has been used to implement the detector geometry and to simulate the decays from the various background sources: electromagnetic and nuclear. From the analysis of the simulations, the level of background has been found totally acceptable for the experiment purposes: about 1 background event in a 2 tonne-years exposure. Indeed, using the Maximum Gap method, the XENON1T sensitivity has been evaluated and the minimum for the WIMP-nucleon cross sections has been found at 1.87 x 10^-47 cm^2, at 90% CL, for a WIMP mass of 45 GeV/c^2. The results have been independently cross checked by using the Likelihood Ratio method that confirmed such results with an agreement within less than a factor two. Such a result is completely acceptable considering the intrinsic differences between the two statistical methods. Thus, in the PhD thesis it has been proven that the XENON1T detector will be able to reach the designed sensitivity, thus lowering the limits on the WIMP-nucleon cross section by about 2 orders of magnitude with respect to the current experiments.


  • 2015-02-26


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Massoli, Fabio Valerio (2015) The XENON1T experiment: Monte Carlo background estimation and sensitivity curves study, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Fisica , 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6776.