University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Monday, November 5th 2018
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Guillermo Fernandez Moroni, Fermilab
Subject: Dark Matter and Neutrino direct detection using CCDs

The talk presents the status and prospects of direct detection of dark matter and neutrinos on experiments based on silicon CCDs (Charge Coupled Devices). It reviews the concept and results of the CONNIE (Coherent Neutrino Nucleus Interaction Experiment) experiment currently running near by a 4 GW power nuclear reactor in Brazil; and DAMIC (Dark Matter in CCD) experiment operative at SNOLAB. These are twin experiments at different locations with an effective energy threshold of ~50 eVee. Also, a new CCD technology with much lower energy threshold (~3 eVee) is presented. This “new” CCD is called Skipper CCD and is going to be used on a new experiment for direct detection of light dark matter called SENSEI (Sub-Electron Noise Skipper Experimental Instrument) that uses a non-destructive readout technique to achieve stable single electron discrimination in the silicon. This is the first instrument to achieve single electron counting for the whole dynamic range with stable operation over millions of pixels on a large-area detector. This low threshold allows for unprecedented sensitivity to the largely unexplored, but theoretically well-motivated, area of sub-GeV dark matter models. We’ll discuss the reach and prospects of the SENSEI experiment currently under construction, which will use 100 grams of Skipper CCDs. We will also present the lessons learned from a small scale prototype currently operating in the MINOS cavern at Fermilab.

Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

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