DAMIC uses CCDs (charged coupled devices) to look for dark matter interactions. The silicon CCDs are electical circuits made up of many capacitors, which are extremely sensitive to small changes in energy. When a dark matter particle interacts, that energy change can be measured, creating a signal in the data.
Did you know?
The CCDs used in the next generation DAMIC-M will be some of the largest ever built, at 20 g each.
Interactions within the CCDs are recorded in pixels along the x and y axes, making it possible to map an interaction and determine what particle caused it.
DAMIC is housed in a copper box which is kept in a vacuum at a temperature of 130 Kelvin, or about -140 C.
Photos of DAMIC
The steel panel in the background makes up one wall of the metal housing for DAMIC.
DAMIC experimental setup.
One of the CCDs used in DAMIC
Diagram showing how a particle interaction happens in DAMIC.
Different tracks can be observed from different ionizing particles. The “low-energy candidates” are those that could arise from the interactions of dark matter particles.