Colloquium April 27: Search for Dark Matter with Liquid Argon Detectors

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Physics Colloquium: Thursday April 27 at 15:30.

Room: River Building 1200.

Speaker: Dr. Marcin Kuzniak, Carleton University

Title: Search for Dark Matter with Liquid Argon Detectors

Although the existence of Dark Matter is well established based on astronomical observations, its nature remains one of the most pressing and exciting questions in physics, with Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) still among the top Dark Matter candidates.

This talk will discuss WIMP detection based on liquid argon, which is complementary and provides certain advantages over more established xenon technology (currently dominating the field). I will describe the DEAP-3600 detector, which searches for dark matter particle interactions with 3.6 tonnes of liquid argon contained in an ultrapure acrylic vessel viewed by 255 photomultiplier tubes. It is located 2 km underground at SNOLAB, in Sudbury, Ontario, and currently taking data, aiming to reach a competitive sensitivity (or discover WIMPs) after 3 years of running.

I will also discuss DarkSide-20k, a larger 20 ton detector planned for the future, as well as prospects for a global collaborative effort to build a multi-hundred ton scale instrument, capable of reaching the ultimate sensitivity available to WIMP searches. I will highlight the role of the planned cryogenic test facility at Carleton in this context, and present details of the proposed R&D to be performed there.