Adelphi Wins R&D 100 Award

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Adelphi Generator Helps in Search for Dark Matter!

Model DD-108 next to LUX water tank and detector. The generator is shielded in borated high density polyethylene

An Adelphi Model DD108 has been installed 4850' underground at Sanford Underground Research Facility* and used to successfully tested the sensitivity of the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter detector. Since neutrons have neutral charge, they easily pass into the detector, mimicking the non-interacting dark matter particles. The DD108 produces fast neutrons that are introduced into the detector in order to test the LUX detector's sensitivity. The detector is located in the center of an 8-m diameter water tank (steel wall in picture). The neutrons are collimated through the water in a 3.8 m long, 5 cm diameter pipe in line with the LUX detector.

The LUX experiment is operated underground in order to minimize the high-energy cosmic ray background. A collimated neutron source permits the generator to produce a controlled source of neutrons for testing the LUX detector.

From the LUX website: "Since the early 90s, dark matter detectors have been getting bigger and more sensitive, as dark matter keeps eluding us and physicists are forced to look for ever more tenuous interactions. In order to reach the degree of sensitivity required for positive dark matter detection, an experiment must be able to pick out a few events per year in hundreds of kilograms of material. Without targets built at least on that scale, the amount of time required to stand a chance of even seeing one is simply prohibitive."

Brown University Graduate student, James Verbus, and his PhD advisor and co-PI of the LUX project, Professor Richard Gaitskell, have conducted early successful tests of the detector's sensitivity with the model DD109 neutron generator. See James Verbus power point presentation. Also see Adelphi's development of a liquid argon detector that uses the technology developed by the LUX team.