Physics at Virginia
Rare event searches will have a profound impact on the search for physics beyond the Standard Model in the coming years. This is particularly true in searches for neutrinoless double-beta decay and dark matter, and we will discuss one experiment of each type. The MAJORANA experiment will search for neutrinoless double-beta decay in 76Ge by constructing an array of HPGe detectors in ultra-clean electro-formed copper cryostats deep underground. Recent advances in HPGe detector technology, particularly the development of P-type Point Contact (PPC) detectors present excellent new opportunities in identifying and reducing backgrounds to the double-beta decay signal. The CLEAN/DEAP collaboration is fielding MiniCLEAN, a 400-kg, single-phase detector capable of being filled with either liquid neon or argon. MiniCLEAN uses a spherical geometry to maximize light yield and pulse shape analysis techniques to identify nuclear recoil signals and reject electron recoil backgrounds. Careful attention is being paid to reducing the contamination of detector surfaces by environmental radon gas. We will present an overview and highlight recent R&D progress of both experimental programs.
Monday, March 1, 2010
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
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Special Colloquium

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