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Towards Detecting the Migdal Effect

Tuesday November 17, 2020
2:00 pm

 Presenter:  Alex Mills (UNM)
 Series:  Nuclear, Particle, Astroparticle and Cosmology (NUPAC) Seminars
 Abstract:  In the past year, the Migdal Effect has been used to improve the dark matter mass-sensitivity of the world-leading XENON experiment by 2 orders of magnitude. This effect predicts that an atomic nucleus receiving a small 'kick' can be excited, resulting in the emission of an atomic electron. The kick from very light DM particles is too small to detect but the accompanying electron emission is detectable. With this interpretation, numerous experiments have claimed sensitivity to light DM in the 10s of MeV/c^2 range. The effect, however, has not been observed, which raises questions on the validity of these interpretations. Here I will address this question by describing a method to detect and study the Migdal effect. I will also provide an experimental demonstration of this method that uses novel techniques developed at UNM. In my talk I will describe work I have done as part of the MIGDAL collaboration, which plans to make the first detection of the effect in the coming year.
 Host:  Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine
 Location:  Zoom

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