Highlights

The cryostat and time projection chamber for the SCENE experiment (SCintillation Efficiency of Noble Elements) were recently installed at the FN Tandem Van de Graaff Accelerator at the University of Notre Dame. Neutrons emitted from a lithium-fluoride target produce recoiling argon nuclei – the same signature expected for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles – in the… More »

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 DECam imager was designed and built at Fermilab over the… More »

COUPP Update

This month is an important one for the COUPP-60 detector. In the race to detect dark matter, experimentalists want to go deeper and get bigger, and with COUPP-60, the COUPP collaboration is hoping to do just that. For the past two years, the COUPP-4 detector containing about 4 kg of target has been running 6800… More »

Eight billion years ago, rays of light from distant galaxies began their long journey to Earth. That ancient starlight has now found its way to a mountaintop in Chile, where the newly constructed Dark Energy Camera, the most powerful sky-mapping machine ever created, has captured and recorded it for the first time. That light may… More »

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 »