Dark Matter Searches

Dark matter makes up 85% of all matter in the universe and we have no idea what it is. CCM seeks to answer that question. The physics program of CCM comprises well-motivated searches for new particles in the weak sector, including dark photons, axion-like particles (ALPs), and neutral heavy leptons in the keV to MeV mass range.

The CCM120 dector, which utilized 120 PMTs, published world-leading limits on dark phototons. The CCM200 upgrade, which finished in Autumn 2021, outfitted the detector with 200 PMTs. Data will be collected in three runs between 2022-24, searching for new particles produced in the target of the Lujan Center at LANL and covering open parameter-space for the QCD axion invoked to address the strong CP problem.


What is CCM Looking For?

CCM searches for a new and exciting class of dark matter candidates known as dark sector models. While traditional models posit a single new particle, dark sector models imagine a constellation of particles and forces that interact strongly with each-other, but weakly with the particles of the standard model. There must be a portal, a particle which interacts with both the dark sector and the standard model. This portal allows CCM to detect dark sector interactions.