REU Project ID 1.2

R&D toward a dark matter experiment using superfluid helium

Prof. Dan McKinsey

The particle nature of dark matter is not known, but the mass range of MeV/c^2 to GeV/c^2 range is relatively unexplored. Low-background detectors with low energy thresholds may be used to search for nuclear recoils induced by such dark matter particles. Superfluid helium is a promising target for such an experiment, but characterization of its scintillation, phonon, and roton signals is needed at sub-keV energies.

An REU student on this project will have the opportunity to contribute to R&D associated with this technique, learning about cryogenic design, cryogenic electronics, nuclear instrumentation, Monte Carlo simulation, or data analysis.