Physics at Virginia

The snowball chamber is analogous to the bubble and cloud chambers in that it relies on a phase transition, but it is new to high-energy particle physics. The concept of the snowball chamber relies on supercooled water, which can remain metastable for long time periods in a sufficiently clean and smooth container (on the level of the critical radius for nucleation). The results gleaned from the first prototype setup (20 grams) will be reviewed, as well as plans for the future, with an eye to future deployment of a larger (kg-scale) device underground for direct detection of dark matter WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles), with a special focus on low-mass (GeV-scale) WIMPs, capitalizing on the presence of Hydrogen, which could potentially also lead to world-leading sensitivity to spin-dependent-proton interactions for O(1 GeV/c^2)-mass WIMPs and coherent neutrino scattering. Supercooled water also has the potential advantage of a sub-keV energy threshold for nuclear recoils, but this remains an atmospheric chemistry prediction that must be verified by careful measurements.

High Energy Physics Seminar
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
4:00 PM
Clark Hall, Room G004
Note special time.
Note special room.

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