Highlights

CHASE Update

Not long ago the Chameleon Afterglow Search (CHASE) reported its results on a search for a candidate dark energy particle. While those results did not report a “chameleon” afterglow signal, it did report an afterglow signal—the “orange glow”. A significant amount of additional data was taken to characterize this orange glow, its color, temperature dependence,… More »

The Pierre Auger Observatory located in Argentina is designed to observe high energy cosmic rays. Fortuitously, the Observatory is able to search for high energy neutrinos where its detection capabilities are comparable to that of neutrino-dedicated observatories. Due to the small cross section, neutrino-induced air showers are likely to occur deep in the atmosphere. Hence,… More »

The COUPP Collaboration uses bubble chambers to search for dark matter. The experiment works because the fluid in the detector is in a “superheated” state – the fluid wants to boil but needs something to give it the extra heat to make a bubble. Particle interactions with neutrons, alphas or potentially dark matter can give… More »

The DarkSide collaboration has recently reported two significant results on the road to ton-scale liquid argon dark matter searches. Argon is a promising target for direct dark matter searches due to the ability to distinguish heavily-ionizing WIMP-induced nuclear recoil signals from minimum-ionizing gamma- and beta-induced backgrounds by pulse shape discrimination (PSD). However, PSD performance depends… More »

There is a large ongoing effort to search for dark matter directly. If we are lucky we should soon observe dark matter particles in the Milky Way halo scattering off of atomic nuclei. The next step will be to study those events carefully and try to learn as much as possible from the dark matter… More »

Without solid experimental input, the underlying particle physics behind dark matter remains an open question. For many years, the leading paradigm was of a weakly interacting particle that was a thermal relic of the Big Bang. This leads to interesting theoretical possibilities connecting dark matter with possible extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics… More »

Over the past a few months, the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration reached several major milestones paving the way for the upcoming survey in the Fall of 2012. The DECam imager arrived at CTIO on Nov. 23 and has been readout successfully in the cold room of the Blanco Telescope on Dec. 6. Preliminary tests… More »

Despite 100 years since the first discovery of cosmic rays, we still do not know what these particles are at the highest energy. The Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina is able to detect cosmic rays above 1017 eV with high accuracy due to its hybrid detection technique. Studying the distribution of Xmax, the position in… More »

As described previously in this space, the COUPP Collaboration uses bubble chambers to search for dark matter particles. We just finished a run of our 4 kg bubble chamber in the deep underground site of SNOLAB in Northern Ontario. This run was successful in many ways, particularly in demonstrating the reach of the acoustic rejection… More »

DECam Update

Starting in 2012 and continuing for 5 years, the Dark Energy Survey (DES) will use its newly constructed camera, DECam , to observe a large swath of the southern sky out to vast distances in order to provide new clues about the nature of dark energy – or why the universe’s expansion is accelerating. The… More »