Direct detection experiments and dark energy


We explore the prospects for direct detection of dark energy by current and upcoming terrestrial dark matter direct detection experiments. If dark energy is driven by a new light degree of freedom coupled to matter and photons, then dark energy quanta are produced in the sun and free-stream towards earth where they can interact with Standard Model particles in the detection chambers of direct detection experiments, presenting the possibility that these experiments could be used to test dark energy. The strong constraints that typically result from stellar probes of new light particles are evaded in screened dark energy model, in which the production in the core of the Sun, and similarly in the cores of red giant, horizontal branch and white dwarf stars is suppressed. As an example, we examine whether the electron recoil excess recently reported by the XENON1T collaboration can be explained by chameleon-screened dark energy and find that such a model is preferred over the background-only hypothesis at the 2.0 σ level, in a large range of parameter space not excluded by stellar (or other) probes. This raises the tantalizing possibility that XENON1T may have achieved the first direct detection of dark energy. Finally, we study the prospects for confirming this scenario using planned future detectors such as XENONnT, PandaX-4T, and LUX-ZEPLIN.

Jul 5, 2021 8:09 AM — Jul 15, 2021 10:00 PM
Cosmology from home series

I have attended the 2021 edition of the Cosmology from Home series, with the talk “Direct detection experiments and dark energy” covering my work available at this link. See my dedicated blog entry for a thorough description of the project. My talk is now available at this YouTube link.

Luca Visinelli
Luca Visinelli
Tenure-track Associate Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Fellow, Tsung-Dao Lee Institute

PhD in Physics, working on Particle Astrophysics and Dark Matter modeling.