Title

Development of an aluminum-coated scintillator for use as the central cathode in the DRIFT dark matter detector

Authors

Jonathan Beck

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Abstract

Determining the properties of dark matter remains one of the largest problems in contemporary physics. A prominent candidate for dark matter is the Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP). To detect WIMPs, the Directional Recoil Identification from Tracks (DRIFT) detector records the energetic ions that result from the reaction between WIMPs and the gas of the detector. Radon progeny recoil (RPR) events interfere with the proper operation of the detector. It is possible to use a scintillator to veto RPR events. The goal of this summer?s research was to investigate the replacement of the current central cathode of the detector with an aluminum-coated scintillator. With continued focus, this central cathode upgrade will move from the current simulations and models to a functioning prototype; eventually a full-scale replacement cathode will be installed. This summer?s research attempts to create a precedent for future development in this direction. Computer simulations of RPR event detection were positive. Progress was made towards a prototype system using an aluminum-coated scintillator material.

Advisor

Daniel Snowden-Ifft

Department

physics

Support

Ford Research Endowment



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