Dark matter search in a Beam-Dump eXperiment (BDX) at Jefferson Lab

[No Value] BDX Collaboration, M. Battaglieri, A. Celentano, R. De Vita, E. Izaguirre, G. Krnjaic, E. Smith, S. Stepanyan, A. Bersani, E. Fanchini, S. Fegan, P. Musico, M. Osipenko, M. Ripani, E. Santopinto, M. Taiuti, P. Schuster, N. Toro, M. Dalton, A. FreybergerF.-X. Girod, V. Kubarovsky, M. Ungaro, G. De Cataldo, R. De Leo, D. Di Bari, L. Lagamba, E. Nappi, R. Perrino, M. Carpinelli, V. Sipala, S. Aiello, V. Bellini, M. De Napoli, A. Giusa, F. Mammoliti, E. Leonora, F. Noto, N. Randazzo, G. Russo, M. Sperduto, C. Sutera, C. Ventura, L. Barion, G. Ciullo, M. Contalbrigo, P. Lenisa, A. Movsisyan, F. Spizzo, M. Turisini, F. De Persio, E. Cisbani, C. Fanelli, F. Garibaldi, F. Meddi, G. M. Urciuoli, S. Anefalos Pereira, E. De Sanctis, D. Hasch, V. Lucherini, M. Mirazita, R. Montgomery, S. Pisano, G. Simi, A. D'Angelo, L. Colaneri L. Lanza, A. Rizzo, C. Schaerf, I. Zonta, D. Calvo, A. Filippi, M. Holtrop, R. Peremuzyan, D. Glazier, D. Ireland, B. McKinnon, D. Sokhan A. Afanasev, B. Briscoe, N. Kalantarians, L. El Fassi, L. Weinstein, P. Beltrame, A. Murphy, D. Watts, L. Zana, K. Hicks

Research output: Working paper


MeV-GeV dark matter (DM) is theoretically well motivated but remarkably unexplored. This Letter of Intent presents the MeV-GeV DM discovery potential for a 1 m$^3$ segmented plastic scintillator detector placed downstream of the beam-dump at one of the high intensity JLab experimental Halls, receiving up to 10$^{22}$ electrons-on-target (EOT) in a one-year period. This experiment (Beam-Dump eXperiment or BDX) is sensitive to DM-nucleon elastic scattering at the level of a thousand counts per year, with very low threshold recoil energies ($\sim$1 MeV), and limited only by reducible cosmogenic backgrounds. Sensitivity to DM-electron elastic scattering and/or inelastic DM would be below 10 counts per year after requiring all electromagnetic showers in the detector to exceed a few-hundred MeV, which dramatically reduces or altogether eliminates all backgrounds. Detailed Monte Carlo simulations are in progress to finalize the detector design and experimental set up. An existing 0.036 m$^3$ prototype based on the same technology will be used to validate simulations with background rate estimates, driving the necessary R$\&$D towards an optimized detector. The final detector design and experimental set up will be presented in a full proposal to be submitted to the next JLab PAC. A fully realized experiment would be sensitive to large regions of DM parameter space, exceeding the discovery potential of existing and planned experiments by two orders of magnitude in the MeV-GeV DM mass range.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors
  • Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
  • High Energy Physics - Experiment
  • High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
  • Nuclear Experiment


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