Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Queen's University
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Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

 Departmental Colloquium - The Search for Dark Matter with the PICO Bubble Chambers

Guillaume Giroux,
Queen's (Department of Physics),

September 30th, 2016
1:30 p.m. in Theatre A

Abstract:

Arguably the most pressing question in modern physics arises from the growing evidence that dark matter constitutes the vast majority of the universe?s content. The PICO collaboration searches for dark matter in the form of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) using superheated fluid detectors, or ?bubble chambers?, that are operated in thermodynamic conditions where they are insensitive to gamma and beta radiation. The additional background suppression required to obtain sensitivity to the elusive dark matter signal is achieved with the acoustic signature of the bubble nucleation that allows the identification of alpha particles. The PICO-2L and PICO-60 detectors were recently deployed at the SNOLAB deep underground laboratory, in Sudbury, Canada. In this seminar I will present the latest results of the PICO experiment that set the most stringent constraints on the dark matter signal in the spin-dependent sector. I will also give a sneak preview of PICO-60?s data, our largest bubble chamber to date.