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Departmental Colloquium


Two Not-So-Unrelated Fields: Solar Neutrino Experiments and the Direct Detection of Dark Matter

Mark Boulay
Physics Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Time
 
Wed. August 11, 2004     10:30 AM     Stirling C

Abstract
 

The past decade has seen several fundamental advances in experimental particle astrophysics. The long-standing solar neutrino problem has finally been resolved, largely by the SNO data. Direct searches for the elusive dark-matter particle have placed limits on the interaction cross-section and mass of WIMPS, and have constrained parameter space in super-symmetric models which predict them. In this colloquium some of the history of the solar neutrino problem will be presented, along with the recent experimental evidence which has solved it. The motivation for and current status of direct dark matter searches will be reviewed, and studies for the design of a novel cryogenic experiment with a liquid neon target (CLEAN) will be presented. The CLEAN experiment will improve sensitivity to dark matter particles by several orders of magnitude, as well as provide a real-time measurement of the low-energy pp solar neutrino flux. Parallels between the CLEAN and SNO experiments will be discussed, along with the advantages over other methods of scaling up current dark matter searches.

Mark Boulay is a candidate for the SNOLAB Tier II CRC position and will be available for individual meetings. Refreshments will be available after the talk.

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