Detector R&D

Discovery science in many areas of particle and nuclear physics and astrophysics is driven by the development of new techniques. The investigation of Dark Matter, neutrinos, Dark Energy and generally new interactions are arguably among the most interesting topics in modern physics. They also require techniques that are at the edge of the technologically possible. Detector development is also an area where creativity plays an great role and relatively small investments have the potential of outsize returns.

At present we are working in three main areas:

  • The development of a new paradigm in imaging, allowing the 3D reconstruction of events in a photon-starved environment; as is the case with scintillating materials (link to the paper). This technique could potentially affect in a major way how large scintillation detectors are used. On a smaller scale one could imagine the same basic technique to allow directional fast neutron of gamma detection. A talk describing these ideas is here.
  • The development of novel Dark Matter detection schemes where very small excitations are amplified by some quenched runaway phenomenon, like for instance described here and experimentally demonstrated here.
  • The development of directional Dark Matter detectors using warm liquids like TMS or TMP. The description of our first TMS detector is here and the first measurement of the quenching factor in TMS is reported here.

Site maintenance: Sha Zhang.
Design: Giulio Gratta