With its increasing statistical significance, the DAMA/LIBRA annual modulation signal is a cause for tension in the field of dark matter direct detection. A possible standard dark matter explanation for this signal is highly incompatible with the null results of numerous other experiments. The COSINUS experiment aims at a model-independent cross-check of the DAMA/Libra signal claim.
For such a model-independent cross-check, the same detector material as used by DAMA has to be employed. Thus COSINUS will use NaI crystals operated as cryogenic scintillating calorimeters at millikelvin temperatures. Such a setup enables independent measurement of both temperature and scintillation light signals via transition edge sensors (TESs). The dual-channel readout allows particle discrimination on an event-by-event basis, as the amount of light produced depends on the particle type (light quenching).
The construction of COSINUS started in December 2021 at the LNGS underground laboratory in central Italy. We will report on the current status of the construction and results from our prototype detectors.
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