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Rare event searches: looking for dark matter and new neutrino physics

Lucie Tvrzníková

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


In this talk, I will present a high-level overview of my work: In the first half, I will focus on direct dark matter (DM) searches and R&D efforts for the next generation of xenon time projection chambers. The nature of DM remains a mystery since it has so far eluded detection in the laboratory. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment was built to observe the interaction of DM with xenon target nuclei. LUX acquired data from April 2013 to May 2016 at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, which led to publications of many world-leading exclusion limits that probe much of the unexplored DM parameter space. I will discuss the results from the LUX detector with a focus on sub-GeV dark matter, the status of the next-generation detector known as LZ, and R&D efforts on high voltage characterization in liquid argon and xenon to enable future detector design.

In the second part of my talk, I will focus on neutrino experiments trying to answer questions that will open the door to physics beyond the Standard Model: whether neutrinos are their own antiparticles and what is the effective mass of the electron antineutrino mν̅e. This effective mass can be determined from a sufficiently high-precision measurement of the tritium beta-decay spectrum around its endpoint. I will introduce the Project 8 experiment, which is using the Cyclotron Radiation Emission Spectroscopy (CRES) technique to perform a radio-frequency-based measurement of the decay electron energy. To achieve its goal sensitivity of mν̅e ~ 40 meV, Project 8 will use an atomic tritium source to eliminate rotational and vibrational excitations of molecular tritium that perturb the tritium spectrum endpoint. I will discuss the recent efforts toward atomic tritium at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Lastly, I will also discuss R&D efforts to characterize SeF6 to evaluate its effectiveness as a neutrinoless double-beta decay detector target.

Seminar takes place on Tuesday, July 30th 2019 at 2:00 PM
in the IEAP meeting room, Praha 1, Husova 240/5.

Ing. Bartoloměj Biskup, Ph.D.
seminar organizer
doc. Ing. Ivan Štekl, CSc.
director of IEAP
doc. Dr. André Sopczak
IEEE CS - NPSS chair

IEEE Czechoslovakia section

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