SPS and the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Sharmila Kamat,
Physics, CWRU

"Hunting for WIMPs with Ultra-Cold Detectors"

Friday, November 21, 2:00pm
Ward Beecher 2006

  Abstract :   Recent astronomical evidence indicates that only 4% of the cosmos is known to us, 96% is yet to be understood. Of this, 23% constitutes the missing mass of the Universe, the so-called dark matter. Theoretical predictions suggest that this unknown mass could be made of a generic class of particles called Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), relics of the Big Bang that still exist today because of their weak interactions with ordinary matter.

    The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search looks for WIMPs using position sensitive Germanium and Silicon detectors which simultaneously measure ionization and phonon energies deposited by particle interactions with the detectors. The detectors are operated at milli-Kelvin temperatures in a shielded environment 2300 feet below ground in a former iron mine in Northern Minnesota. Past experimental runs at a shallower site confirmed the excellent background rejection capability of the detectors and set new limits on the detection of WIMPs. The shift to a deeper site is expected to increase sensitivity to WIMP detection by a factor of 100.

There will be light refreshment in the conference room before the 2:00pm talk.