Dispersion of Ions in the Drift Dark Matter Detector

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2012


This summer I worked on measuring the drift velocity and dispersion of ions in a miniature version of the DRIFT (Directional Recoil Identification from Tracks) detector. To do so I focused a flash lamp on a thin aluminum plate in the back of a vacuum vessel. Via the photoelectric effect, electrons are released from the metal sheet. These free electrons then attach to the electronegative gas within the system. By implementing an electric field it is then possible to direct the ions toward the detection plane of wires. By analyzing this data through the statistical program R I was able to calculate the drift velocity and longitudinal diffusion in the z direction plane. Furthermore, by scanning the UV light source across multiple wires I was able to calculate the lateral diffusion in the x direction plane of the ions through space. Understanding the drift velocity and the dispersion in the x-plane and z-plane is crucial to the understanding of events within the DRIFT detector.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


Dan Snowden-Ifft




National Science Foundation grant to Dan Snowden-Ifft

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