SPS and the Department of Physics and Astronomy
"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
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.