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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 2626

  Monday, March 26th, 2012

NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
The search for direct detection of Dark Matter with MiniCLEAN
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Raul Hennings-Yeomans, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Abstract: The particle nature of dark matter remains one of the biggest challenges in Astroparticle physics today. The use of liquid noble elements as scintillators for direct detection of dark matter insingle and dual phase configurations are one of the most promising techniques to reach sensitivities beyond 10$^{-44}$cm$^2$ in spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross section. MiniCLEAN (CLEAN- Cryogenic Low Energy Astrophysics with Noble Gases) is an approximately spherical ~500~kg liquid argon or neon vessel that encloses 92 optical cassettes (modular photo-detectors) pointing at the center of the sphere through a TPB (Tetraphenyl Butadine) evaporated window that converts VUV light from the argon or neon scintillation into the visible. The modular spherical design allows both for a viable radon-mitigated assembly and for position reconstruction. Furthermore, the use of Pulse-Shape discrimination techniques between nuclear and electronic recoils that are particularly good for these two condensed noble gases will test the single-phase approach as a viable instrument for direct detection of dark matter at the multi-tonne scale with a projected sensitivity of 10$^{-46}$~cm$^2$ for a $sim$100~GeV/c$^2$ WIMP mass in terms of spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross section. I will be presenting a review and status of the MiniCLEAN research program as well as new developments in the mitigation of depth-dependent and radiogenic neutron backgrounds.
Host: Reina Maruyama
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