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 »


CDMS – Things are Cooling Down! The search for Dark Matter is competitive and exciting. Last spring we had a little too much excitement in the Soudan Underground Laboratory with a fire that caused an uncontrolled end to a SuperCDMS R & D run. Fortunately, the damage to the SuperCDMS project was minor and we… More »

Do we live in a hologram? The number of large spacial dimensions is a question that has periodically resurfaced over the years. Theories derived from black hole thermodynamics state that the area of an event horizon is sufficiently large to hold all of the quantum information of the particles that conspired to make the black… More »