Date: 3/22/2012 at 13:30 (sharp)
Location: UCB Old LeConte Hall, OLC 325
Speaker: Dr. Raul Hennings-Yeomans (LANL)
Title: Testing the path to a multi-tonne Dark Matter search with MiniCLEAN
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 in single and dual phase conﬁgurations are one of the most promising techniques to reach sensitivities beyond 10−44 cm2 in spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross section. MiniCLEAN (CLEAN- Cryogenic Low Energy strophysics
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 UV 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 econstruction. Furthermore, the use of Pulse-Shape discrimination techniques between nuclear and electronic recoils that are particularly good for these two 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 cm2 for a ∼100 GeV/c2 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.