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Time Series Analysis of Dark Matter Direct Detection Experiments

Over the past several years several experiments announced the observation of temporal modulations in the nuclear recoil rates in experiments looking for dark matter in the laboratory. I will review the different experiments and the various claims. In particular I will discuss the results of the DAMA and CoGeNT experiments including a careful analysis of the observed modulation and a comparison with other known temporally modulated phenomena. At least a portion of the talk will involve an introduction to the various statistical tools used in the analysis, which might be of interest to astronomers as well.