Particle Physics Seminar

"Tiny Bubbles in the Mine: New Results from the PICO-60 Dark Matter Detector"

Presented by Dr. Eric Dahl, North Western

Friday, May 19, 2017, 10:00 am — Small Seminar Room, Bldg. 510

The PICO Collaboration builds bubble chambers for the direct detection of WIMP dark matter. These devices are unique among direct detection experiments both in the WIMP models they can probe and the backgrounds they face. The PICO collaboration has set consecutive world-leading direct-detection limits on the spin-dependent WIMP-proton cross section, most recently with a zero-background 1.2 ton-day exposure with a C3F8 target in the PICO-60 detector at SNOLAB. This result is significant not just because it reaches new WIMP parameter space, but also because it demonstrates our ability to eliminate the anomalous bubble nucleation background that limited past bubble chamber WIMP searches, opening the door for experiments at the ton scale and beyond. I will describe this new result from PICO, our immediate plans for new detectors at SNOLAB, and the broader role bubble chambers will play in the future of dark matter detection, including the new scintillating bubble chamber technology developed by my group at Northwestern.

Hosted by: Xin Qian

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