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Title: Detailed Characterization of Nuclear Recoil Pulse Shape Discrimination in the DarkSide-50 Direct Dark Matter Experiment

Abstract

While evidence of non-baryonic dark matter has been accumulating for decades, its exact nature continues to remain a mystery. Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) are a well motivated candidate which appear in certain extensions of the Standard Model, independently of dark matter theory. If such particles exist, they should occasionally interact with particles of normal matter, producing a signal which may be detected. The DarkSide-50 direct dark matter experiment aims to detect the energy of recoiling argon atoms due to the elastic scattering of postulated WIMPs. In order to make such a discovery, a clear understanding of both the background and signal region is essential. This understanding requires a careful study of the detector's response to radioactive sources, which in turn requires such sources may be safely introduced into or near the detector volume and reliably removed. The CALibration Insertaion System (CALIS) was designed and built for this purpose in a j oint effort between Fermi National Laboratory and the University of Hawaii. This work describes the design and testing of CALIS, its installation and commissioning at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) and the multiple calibration campaigns which have successfully employed it. As nuclear recoils produced by WIMPs are indistinguishable from those produced by neutrons, radiogenic neutrons are both the most dangerous class of background and a vital calibration source for the study of the potential WIMP signal. Prior to the calibration of DarkSide-50 with radioactive neutron sources, the acceptance region was determined by the extrapolation of nuclear recoil data from a separate, dedicated experiment, ScENE, which measured the distribution of the pulse shape discrimination parameter, $$f_{90}$$, for nuclear recoils of known energies. This work demonstrates the validity of the extrapolation of ScENE values to DarkSide-50, by direct comparison of the $$f_{90}$$ distributio n of nuclear recoils from ScENE and an AmBe calibration sour! ce. The combined acceptance as defined by ScENE and the \textit{in-situ} AmBe calibration were used to establish the best WIMP exclusion limit on an argon target. Unfortunately, radioactive sources used for the calibration of DarkSide-50 are universally accompanied by gamma decays, which obscure the low energy region where most WIMP interactions are expected to occur and seem to make continuing dependence on an external measurement such as ScENE inevitable. However, this work presents a novel method of nuclear recoil calibration employing event selection, unique to the design of DarkSide-50, which produces a nearly pure sample of nuclear recoils. Further, it describes the execution of a neutron calibration campaign, from planning to analysis, which yielded a valuable data set for defining the acceptance region. Together with the event selection techniques, this allows for the definition of the acceptance region independent of ScENE values. Two analytical models of the $$f_{90 }$$ distribution are described and their results for nuclear recoils are compared. Finally, a detailed study of integrated noise in nuclear and electron recoil

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1354860
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-THESIS-2017-14
1597507
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Edkins, Erin Elisabeth. Detailed Characterization of Nuclear Recoil Pulse Shape Discrimination in the DarkSide-50 Direct Dark Matter Experiment. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1354860.
Edkins, Erin Elisabeth. Detailed Characterization of Nuclear Recoil Pulse Shape Discrimination in the DarkSide-50 Direct Dark Matter Experiment. United States. doi:10.2172/1354860.
Edkins, Erin Elisabeth. Mon . "Detailed Characterization of Nuclear Recoil Pulse Shape Discrimination in the DarkSide-50 Direct Dark Matter Experiment". United States. doi:10.2172/1354860. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1354860.
@article{osti_1354860,
title = {Detailed Characterization of Nuclear Recoil Pulse Shape Discrimination in the DarkSide-50 Direct Dark Matter Experiment},
author = {Edkins, Erin Elisabeth},
abstractNote = {While evidence of non-baryonic dark matter has been accumulating for decades, its exact nature continues to remain a mystery. Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) are a well motivated candidate which appear in certain extensions of the Standard Model, independently of dark matter theory. If such particles exist, they should occasionally interact with particles of normal matter, producing a signal which may be detected. The DarkSide-50 direct dark matter experiment aims to detect the energy of recoiling argon atoms due to the elastic scattering of postulated WIMPs. In order to make such a discovery, a clear understanding of both the background and signal region is essential. This understanding requires a careful study of the detector's response to radioactive sources, which in turn requires such sources may be safely introduced into or near the detector volume and reliably removed. The CALibration Insertaion System (CALIS) was designed and built for this purpose in a j oint effort between Fermi National Laboratory and the University of Hawaii. This work describes the design and testing of CALIS, its installation and commissioning at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) and the multiple calibration campaigns which have successfully employed it. As nuclear recoils produced by WIMPs are indistinguishable from those produced by neutrons, radiogenic neutrons are both the most dangerous class of background and a vital calibration source for the study of the potential WIMP signal. Prior to the calibration of DarkSide-50 with radioactive neutron sources, the acceptance region was determined by the extrapolation of nuclear recoil data from a separate, dedicated experiment, ScENE, which measured the distribution of the pulse shape discrimination parameter, $f_{90}$, for nuclear recoils of known energies. This work demonstrates the validity of the extrapolation of ScENE values to DarkSide-50, by direct comparison of the $f_{90}$ distributio n of nuclear recoils from ScENE and an AmBe calibration sour! ce. The combined acceptance as defined by ScENE and the \textit{in-situ} AmBe calibration were used to establish the best WIMP exclusion limit on an argon target. Unfortunately, radioactive sources used for the calibration of DarkSide-50 are universally accompanied by gamma decays, which obscure the low energy region where most WIMP interactions are expected to occur and seem to make continuing dependence on an external measurement such as ScENE inevitable. However, this work presents a novel method of nuclear recoil calibration employing event selection, unique to the design of DarkSide-50, which produces a nearly pure sample of nuclear recoils. Further, it describes the execution of a neutron calibration campaign, from planning to analysis, which yielded a valuable data set for defining the acceptance region. Together with the event selection techniques, this allows for the definition of the acceptance region independent of ScENE values. Two analytical models of the $f_{90 }$ distribution are described and their results for nuclear recoils are compared. Finally, a detailed study of integrated noise in nuclear and electron recoil},
doi = {10.2172/1354860},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Thesis/Dissertation:
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