Superconducting detectors have been proposed as outstanding targets for the direct detection of light dark matter scattering at masses as low as a keV. We study the prospects for directional detection of dark matter in isotropic superconducting targets from the angular distribution of excitations produced in the material. We find that dark matter scattering produces initial excitations with an anisotropic distribution, and further show that this directional information can be preserved as the initial excitations relax. Our results demonstrate that directional detection is possible for a wide range of dark matter masses, and they pave the way for light dark matter discovery with bulk superconducting targets.
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We thank Roni Ilan and Adolfo Grushin for many useful conversations about superconductors, and Kathryn Zurek for discussions at early stages of this work. Y. H. is grateful to Nadav Katz for a conversation in the Ross dungeon that led to this work. We thank Yonatan Kahn for comments on a draft version of this manuscript. The work of Y. H. is supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 1112/17), by the Binational Science Foundation (Grant No. 2016155), by the I-CORE Program of the Planning Budgeting Committee (Grant No. 1937/12), and by the Azrieli Foundation. E. D. K. was supported by the Zuckerman Foundation and by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 1111/17). Parts of this document were prepared by N. K. using the resources of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), a U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, HEP User Facility. Fermilab is managed by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA), acting under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359. The work of B. V. L. is supported in part by DOE Grant No. DE-SC0010107.
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