Union College Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
Feb. 16, 2006
Speaker: Dr. Chad Orzel, Union College
Title: "Counting Atoms for Astrophysics: Atom Traps, Neutrino Detectors, and Radioactive Background Measurements"
Abstract: A new generation of neutrino and dark matter detectors is currently under development, using liquid neon or xenon as a detection medium. These detectors offer unprecedented sensitivity, but in order to reach their full potential, the liquid in the detector must be purified to an extraordinary degree to avoid contamination by radioactive krypton isotopes. I will describe a new method for measuring the krypton content of other rare gases, by trapping and detecting single atoms of krypton. This method allows us to detect krypton contamination of a few parts in 1014 in a fraction of the time required for more conventional methods.
Slides: 750 kB PDF
If anybody needs me, I'll be taking a nap in the break room.