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Rupak Mahapatra headshot
October 6, 20164:00 pm – 5:00 pm (CDT)

Searches for New Physics through Dark Matter and Neutrino Interactions


Rupak Mahapatra (Texas A&M University)


Bob Webb



Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy

College Station, Texas 77843

Event Details

Direct detection of dark matter is challenging due to very small energy deposit from rare recoils on terrestrial detectors, compounded by dominant radioactive background. The TAMU group is the leader on world-leading low-threshold detector detector technology that may enable discovery of new physics in dark matter and neutrino interactions. Sharing the detector technology development with Stanford, we have developed cryogenic Germanium and Silicon detectors that have world-best energy resolution for large mass detectors. These detectors will be used in the supercdms dark matter experiment - one of only two Generation 2 WIMP searches experiments selected for funding by DOE and NSF. The first low threshold detector for supercdms has just been fabricated at TAMU.

I will also discuss how such detector innovations are providing means to access a whole new frontier of precision neutrino experiments. Mitchell Institute Neutrino Experiment at Reactor (MINER) is an exciting new experiment being commissioned at the TAMU TRIGA nuclear reactor with more than 50 collaborators from 4 countries. MINER has sensitivity to be the first experiment in the world to detect coherent scattering of weakly interacting neutrinos on our detectors, the same coherent scattering process that governs dark matter scattering on our detectors, with same low threshold challenges. Such precision measurements may hold the key to discover "New Physics" beyond the Standard Model, such as what is the nature of dark matter, is there a 4th generation of neutrino, do neutrinos have non-Standard Model interactions, are they their own anti-particles.

Video Recording

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