Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Professor of Astrostatistics; CLCC Director



+44 (0)20 7594 7793r.trotta Website CV




Mrs Sheila Ekudo +44 (0)20 7594 2086




1009Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Strege, C and Trotta, R and Bertone, G and Peter, AHG and Scott, P},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevD.86.023507},
journal = {Physical Review D},
title = {Fundamental statistical limitations of future dark matter direct detection experiments},
url = {},
volume = {86},
year = {2012}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - We discuss irreducible statistical limitations of future ton-scale dark matter direct detection experiments. We focus in particular on the coverage of confidence intervals, which quantifies the reliability of the statistical method used to reconstruct the dark matter parameters and the bias of the reconstructed parameters. We study 36 benchmark dark matter models within the reach of upcoming ton-scale experiments. We find that approximate confidence intervals from a profile-likelihood analysis exactly cover or overcover the true values of the weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) parameters, and hence are conservative. We evaluate the probability that unavoidable statistical fluctuations in the data might lead to a biased reconstruction of the dark matter parameters, or large uncertainties on the reconstructed parameter values. We show that this probability can be surprisingly large, even for benchmark models leading to a large event rate of order a hundred counts. We find that combining data sets from two different targets leads to improved coverage properties, as well as a substantial reduction of statistical bias and uncertainty on the dark matter parameters
AU - Strege,C
AU - Trotta,R
AU - Bertone,G
AU - Peter,AHG
AU - Scott,P
DO - 10.1103/PhysRevD.86.023507
PY - 2012///
SN - 1550-7998
TI - Fundamental statistical limitations of future dark matter direct detection experiments
T2 - Physical Review D
UR -
UR -
VL - 86
ER -