Joint High Energy Physics/Instrumentation Seminar
"New detector to search for the Dark Matter, slightly differently"
Presented by Jaroslav Va'vra, SLAC
Thursday, June 6, 2013, 3 pm
Small Seminar Room, Bldg. 510
Hosted by: Tom Ludlam
Existing or soon to be approved Dark Matter experiments are well designed for heavy WIMP masses larger than 6-7 GeV/c^2. They are not so well designed for light Dark Matter particle masses approaching ~ 1GeV/c^2. We will discuss several Dark Matter detectors with the smallest possible detection-reach equivalent to either a single electron or a single photon of a few eV energy. One option for such a detector, a spherical TPC, could be used to detect Dark Matter particles recoiling from a low mass nucleus such as hydrogen located in ethane molecule. This TPC would be equipped with charge amplification and light detection. Another detector candidate would have a large number of single photon sensitive PMTs, with its volume filled with water. This detector would be detect a Dark Matter particle candidate interacting with atom's electron shell via small electric dipole moment, and producing single photons. In this particular case we will discuss a possibility that such candidate is so called "small hydrogen atom", a long-forgotten subject in physics, but hotly discussed in 1920's. We will discuss a theoretical hint why such objects could exist, searches in the astrophysics, efforts to find such atoms in the lab in past and future.