Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre

SNOLAB Experiment: PICO

Experiment Website

PICO is particularly sensitive to dark matter with spin-dependent interactions and is ideally suited for probing the lower mass regimes.

The detector is a superheated bubble chamber. The experiment has completed a program using a 2-litre chamber, and is now operating a 60-litre chamber. World-leading limits for dark matter interaction rates have been set with both of these.

Once the technique is perfected, a 500-litre or larger detector is planned that should probe all of the accessible low-mass phase space. One of the significant issues to be resolved before embarking on the larger 500-litre program is background mitigation. Augmenting the analytical chemistry expertise through the CPARC initiative will be essential in this respect.

The Canadian institutions active on the PICO experiment include Alberta, Laurentian, Montréal, Queen's, and SNOLAB.