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 particles with SuperCDMS at SNOLAB


Belina von Krosigk,

Tuesday April 18th, 2017
11:30 a.m. Theatre B


A compelling set of diverse astrophysical observations points to the existence of dark matter. The most popular particle dark matter candidates are Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) and so-called axions. SuperCDMS (Cryogenic Dark Matter Search) is designed to directly observe galactic WIMPs and is additionally sensitive to solar and galactic axions. The experiment uses cryogenic germanium and silicon detectors, configured to either measure phonon and ionization signals or to measure an amplified ionization signal through its associated phonon production. The first mode of operation has an excellent capability to discriminate between electron and nuclear recoils, while the second mode significantly lowers the energy threshold. After recent decomissioning of the successful experimental setup at the Soudan Underground Laboratory, focus is shifting towards preparations for the next phase of SuperCDMS which will be installed at SNOLAB in Sudbury, Ontario. This talk will focus on the status and plans for this new SNOLAB experiment, including discussions of recent data acquisition development, nuclear recoil calibration and the prospect of axion searches.