Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Physics Division

Physics Division Seminars

Physics Division Seminars bring us speakers on a variety of physics related subjects. Usually these are held in the Building 6008 large Conference Room, at 3:00 pm on the chosen day, but times and locations may vary. For more information, contact our seminar chairman,

Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri
Tel (Office): (865) 574-6124  (FAX): (865) 574-1268


Thu., November 12, 2015, at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM - Refreshments served at 2:40 PM

Dark Matter, Electron Capture in 40K and Modular Total Absorption Spectrometer (MTAS)

Philippe Di Stefano, Queen's University, Montreal, Canada
Bldg. 6008 Large Conference Room

Multiple astronomical observations have posed the dark matter problem since 1933: most of the matter in the universe only appears through gravitational interactions. Particle physics may provide a solution in the form of hypothetical new particles beyond the Standard Model. Detecting these particles is a formidable challenge because of the low energies involved (typically of the order of keVs) and the low rates (less than one event per kilogram of detector per week). Great progress has been made by detector technologies, such as cryogenic calorimeters and noble-liquid Time Projection Chambers (TPCs), able to identify the dominant radioactive backgrounds. One intriguing result comes from the DAMA NaI-based experiment which claims to have detected dark matter. Pradler, Singh and Yavin (Physics Letters B 720 (2013) 399404) have pointed out that there is a poorly known contribution to the DAMA background stemming from the electron capture of 40K directly to the ground state of 40Ar. After an overview of dark matter searches, I will discuss means of measuring this 40K direct decay, for instance at the MTAS facility at ORNL.

Contact: Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri, (865) 574-6124