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Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series Information


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Progress on Detecting the Migdal Effect: the Dynamic Range Issue and Novel Track Reconstruction

Tuesday November 30, 2021
2:00 pm

 Presenter:  Alexandre Mills, UNM
 Series:  Nuclear, Particle, Astroparticle and Cosmology (NUPAC) Seminars
 Abstract:  Recent constraints on the properties of light dark matter particles have come from the application of an obscure quantum mechanical prediction made by Arkady Migdal in the 1940’s. In the Migdal effect an atomic nucleus receiving a small kick has a small probability to emit an atomic electron. In this talk I will provide an update on an experiment whose goal is to detect and study the effect in atoms undergoing neutron scattering. The central challenge is that the effect has a low, ~10^-4-10^-3, probability of occurrence, so a clear identification of the unique Migdal event topology is crucial. Towards this end I will describe recent progress on analysis techniques being developed to extract the maximal information from optical data of ionizing particles that interact in our detector. I will also describe some recent challenges related to the large dynamic range required by the ionization density of these particles, which will force us to operate the detectors at lower signal-to-noise than we had hoped to. We believe that any reduction in detection efficiency from this will be compensated by the improved track detection and reconstruction expected with the new image analysis algorithms.
 Host:  Dinesh Loomba
 Location:  PAIS-3205, PAIS

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