Particle Physics Seminar

"Giant detectors in solution-mined salt caverns"

Presented by Prof. Ben Monreal, UC Santa Barbara

Thursday, February 25, 2016, 3:00 pm — Small Seminar Room, Bldg. 510

Many of particle physics' most interesting observables (neutrinos, dark matter, proton decay) require detectors installed underground. In many cases, the constraints associated with mines—-limited roof spans, limited sites, safety, and excavation costs—- are beginning to limit the scope of our experiments. The energy and chemical industries have 100 years of experience with a different type of underground space: solution-mined salt caverns. These are obtained by drilling into large salt formations and dissolving the salt with water. The caverns obtained can be enormous, deep, stable and above all inexpensive—-but of course they have their own access and pressure constraints. In this talk, I will argue that a wide range of desirable detector technologies, including giant gas TPCs, might be deployed with these caverns. In particular, I will talk about an (untested) TPC gas mixture I devised with these caverns in mind, but which may prove useful in conventional labs too.

Hosted by: Xin Qian

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