Bubble chambers were the dominant technology used for particle detection in accelerator experiments for several decades, eventually falling into disuse with the advent of other techniques. We report here on a new application for these devices. We operated an ultraclean, room-temperature bubble chamber containing 1.5 kilograms of superheated CF3I, a target maximally sensitive to spin-dependent and -independent weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) couplings. An extreme intrinsic insensitivity to the backgrounds that commonly limit direct searches for dark matter was measured in this device under operating conditions leading to the detection of low-energy nuclear recoils like those expected from WIMPs. Improved limits on the spin-dependent WIMP-proton scattering cross section were extracted during our experiments, excluding this type of coupling as a possible explanation for a recent claim of particle dark-matter detection.
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