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PICASSO, COUPP and PICO – search for dark matter with bubble chambers

Amplitude distributions of neutron and alpha particle induced events for detectors 76The PICASSO and COUPP collaborations use superheated liquid detectors to search for cold dark matter through the direct detection of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). These experiments, located in the underground laboratory of SNOLAB, Canada, detect phase transitions triggered by nuclear recoils in the keV range induced by interactions with WIMPs. We present details of the construction and operation of these detectors as well as the results, obtained by several years of observations. We also introduce PICO, which is a joint effort of the two collaborations, to build a second generation ton-scale bubble chamber with 250 liters of active liquid. (Read More)