Noble Travails: Noble Liquid Detectors Searching for Particle Dark Matter
Particle dark matter is thought to be the overwhelming majority of the matter in the Universe. Its gravitational contribution overwhelms that from the ordinary matter that we, the earth and the stars, are composed of. However, we still have no convincing direct evidence for the existence of particle dark matter. This may soon change... I will discuss some of the noble liquid target experiments that are providing competitive sensitivities in the race for the direct detection of particle dark matter. Theoretical estimates, based on supersymmetric models predict dark matter interaction rates from the best sensitivity of existing direct detection experiments of ~1 evts/kg/month, down to rates of ~1 evts/tonne/yr, and below this. Current and future noble liquid experiments for dark matter searches, range in scale from 10's kg to 10 tonnes, and are designed to rise to this challenge. The new liquid xenon detector, LUX, which will be operated underground this year, will be 20 times more sensitive than current best search experiments.
Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2012 Time: 14:30 Where: McGill University Ernest Rutherford Physics Building, R.E. Bell Conference Room (room 103) Contact: Robert Rutledge