DM-TPC: a novel approach to directional Dark Matter detection Denis Dujmic (MIT) on behalf of the DM-TPC collaboration

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Directional detection of dark matter can provide unambiguous observation of dark matter (DM) interactions even in the presence of insidious backgrounds. The DM-TPC collaboration is developing a detector with the goal of measuring the direction and sense (\'\'head-tail\'\') of nuclear recoils produced in spin-dependent DM interactions. The detector consists of a low pressure TPC with optical readout filled with CF4 gas at low pressure. A collision between a WIMP with a gas molecule results in a nucleus recoil of 1-2 mm. The measurement of the energy loss along the recoil allows us to determine the sense and the direction of the recoil. Results from a prototype detector operated in a low-energy neutron beam clearly demonstrate the suitability of this approach to measure directionality. In particular, the first observation of the \'\'head-tail\'\' effect for low-energy neutrons had been recently published by our Collaboration. A full-scale (1m^3) module is now being designed. This detector, which will be operated underground in 2009, will allow us to set limits on spin-dependent Dark Matter interactions using a directional detector. The sensitivity of this experiment will be discussed in this talk.