Electrostatic Field Simulations of the DRIFT-IIA Dark Matter Detector
Burgos, Stanley P.
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The nature of dark matter is considered one of the eleven most important questions to be addressed in the 21<sup>st</sup> century. The preferred dark matter candidates at present are Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) which Professor Daniel Snowden-Ifft is seeking through the use of a Directional Recoil Identification from Tracks detector (DRIFT). Due to the success of the first dark matter detector, DRIFT-I, an international project is currently underway for the construction and deployment of DRIFT-II, a more sophisticated and modular based dark matter detector. With the first DRIFT-II module currently deployed in England, this summer?s research consisted of generating electrostatic field maps of the detector in order to gain insight into its operational details. Based on these simulations, I verified certain electromechanical features of the detector, recalculated two important parameters of the experiment, ruled out possible sources of signal contamination, and gave rise to the issue of decreased resolution in one of the detector?s directions. This summer?s research provided the collaboration with valuable information regarding the detector?s electrostatic operation, bringing us one step closer to answering one of the most puzzling questions of today ? what is dark matter?