The SABRE Experiment at the Stawell Underground Physics Lab
Professor Jeremy Mould
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology
3:30 pm, Friday, 23 October 2015, EN102 Lecture Theatre (EN Building), Hawthorn
For eighty years astronomers have needed dark matter to comprehend the physics of the Universe; for 50 years DM has been needed to understand the astrophysics of galaxies; yet we cannot say precisely what it is.
There has never been more activity in the astrophysics and elementary particle physics communities to solve this problem than there is today. For particle physicists, this is the next Higgs boson class discovery; for astronomers this is a problem to solve now, while still searching for the pathways to solve the dark energy problem. For the aware public, this is an exciting demonstration that physical problems of the class that Newton and Einstein addressed are still alive and kicking today.
SABRE (Sodium-iodide with Active Background REjection) is a new NaI(Tl) experiment designed to test the DAMA/LIBRA claim for a positive WIMP-dark matter annual modulation signal. SABRE will consist of highly pure NaI(Tl) crystals in an active liquid scintillator veto that will be placed at two underground sites, Gran Sasso and Stawell. The scintillator vessel will provide a veto against external backgrounds and those arising from detector components. Through the use of crystal purification techniques and the veto, the background will be significantly lower than that of the DAMA/LIBRA experiment. The infrastructure for SUPL will be constructed in 2016 and counting is intended to begin in 2017 for three years.