News

The SuperCDMS-SNOLAB Experiment

Released on July 11, 2014:
The DOE Office of High Energy Physics and the NSF Physics Division have jointly selected a portfolio of projects for the “second generation” of direct detection dark matter experiments. SuperCDMS-SNOLAB experiment is among the selected experiments which included searched targeted at low and high mass WIMPs as well as axions.

The DOE/NSF announcement
Click here for more information on SuperCDMS-SNOLAB!

About the SuperCDMS Experiment In recent years there has been compelling evidence, from a number of astronomical observations, for the existence of a type of matter that is different from that which makes up the visible portion of the universe such as stars, planets, web-servers, and scientists. This type of matter has yet to be directly observed in earth-bound experiments nor created at particle colliders. Since the evidence for its existence is based on its gravitational effects on the rest of matter in the universe, it is often referred to as the "Missing Mass" of the universe.

The "Missing Mass" is matter that does not emit or scatter electromagnetic radiation and therefore it cannot be seen, which has earned it the title Dark Matter. Dark matter constitutes approximately a quarter of all matter and energy in the universe; while the everyday matter (such as all the particles, atoms, molecules, ... all the way up to planets and stars) is only ~4%. The rest (approximately three quarters) of all the matter and energy in the universe is referred to as dark energy. Dark matter is most commonly hypothesized to be made up of exotic particles such as WIMPS (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles). The goal of the SuperCDMS experiment is to detect the WIMPs and study their properties in order to resolve the "Missing Matter" puzzle and achieve a better understanding on the major matter consituent of the universe.

The SuperCDMS experiment aims to measure the recoil energy imparted to a nucleus due to collisions with WIMPs by employing detectors which are higly sensitive to the ionization and phonon signals that results from a WIMP-nucleus collision. The detectors, known as iZIP (interleaved Z-sensitive Ionization Phonon) detectors, feature state-of-the-art superconducting thin films deposited on 600g germanium crystals to accurately measure information about the WIMP collisions. The SuperCDMS experiment will initially be at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota where in it will operate a total detector mass of ~10kg. Subsequently, the experiments plans to increase the experimental payload by a factor of 10 and operate at the deeper SNOLAB facility in Sudbury, Canada. This location provides significantly improved shielding from cosmic rays which are a source of background in the WIMP search.

Download the research brochure about our activities at the Soudan facility. Click here for more information!
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This work is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy