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- Searching for Dark Matter with the DarkSide Liquid Argon Detector

Richard Saldanha,
Princeton University

May 21st, 2015
11:00 a. m. in Theatre A


Though there is now compelling evidence for the existence of dark matter, its nature remains a mystery. There are currently several experimental approaches being pursued to improve our understanding of dark matter, including a broad program of searches for its possible direct interaction with ordinary matter. In this talk I will review the DarkSide experiment, highlighting the features of liquid argon technology that make this experimental approach extremely promising for future large scale direct-detection dark matter searches. The DarkSide-50 detector is a 50 kg liquid argon Time Projection Chamber (TPC) featuring several novel background-suppression methods. I will report on the recent results from the first run with atmospheric argon, which led to the most sensitive dark matter search performed with an argon target to date. I will also discuss recent upgrades to the detector, including the status of the deployment of low-radioactivity underground argon as the target for the next dark matter search campaign.