Particle Theory Seminar |
Sebastian Baum (Stanford): Paleo-Detectors – Digging for Dark Matter and Neutrinos
Paleo-Detectors are natural minerals which record damage tracks from nuclear recoils over geological timescales. Minerals commonly found on Earth are as old as a billion years. Modern microscopy techniques may allow to reconstruct these damage tracks with nanometer scale spatial resolution. Thus, paleo-detectors would constitute a technique to achieve keV recoil energy threshold with exposures comparable to a kiloton-scale conventional “real-time” detector. In this talk, I will discuss the potential of paleo-detectors for the direct detection of dark matter as well as for detecting low-energy neutrinos as are e.g. emitted by core collapse supernovae or our Sun. Furthermore, the age of the minerals provides the ability to look back across timescales of the same order as the age of the Solar System. This may enable measurements of the time-dependence of the galactic supernova rate (and, in turn, the star formation rate) as well as the time dependence of the flux of cosmic rays on Earth.