August 1, 2019.
Based on observations of interactions between objects on a cosmic scale, scientists have determined that a large percentage (85%) of the universe’s mass is not visible. Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) are one of the primary candidates for this dark matter. Many current projects seek to find WIMPs through various search methods. The PICO dark matter experiment involves observing an underground chamber at SNOLAB for bubbles created when energy in the form of radiation is deposited in a superheated liquid. The group at Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) working on the PICO project seeks to develop improvements to the project’s detectors using a prototype chamber in which design variations can be tested. A simulation of the test detector in Geant4 with test distributions of neutrons from a Cf-252 source and various gamma sources will be used to help develop a calibration plan for the chamber, including optimizing the calibration source positions as well as making quantitative predictions of bubble multiplicity.
Elementary Particles and Fields and String Theory
Dr. Chris Jackson
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
The 2019 STEM Teacher and Researcher Program and this project have been made possible through support from Chevron (www.chevron.com), the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Program under Grant #1836335 and 1340110, the California State University Office of the Chancellor, and California Polytechnic State University in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Battelle. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.