Dissertation Defense: Brian Tennyson, Yale University, “Two Phase Liquid-Gas Xenon Time Projection Chambers: Theory, Applications, and Analysis”

Event time: 
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Wright Lab (WL) See map
272 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Two phase liquid-gas xenon-based detectors employ liquified xenon as the primary detector medium and are able to reconstruct the position and energy of interactions within the detector. These detectors are sensitive to a wide variety of particles, including gamma and beta emissions and neutrinos. They are also hypothetically sensitive to WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particle) dark matter. This dissertation presents the contributions made by the author to three projects using this type of detector. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment employed this type of detector in a search for WIMPs. The author developed the background model used in the reanalysis of the first WIMP search and the analysis of the second WIMP search with LUX. The author performed a search for a solar neutrino magnetic moment using LUX data. The author also performed a study of the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) dark matter detector’s sensitive to $^{136}$Xe neutrinoless double beta decay. The author built, operated, and analyzed data from the CoDeX (Compton Detection in Xenon) detector. The CoDeX detector is a research and development prototype intended to demonstrate the feasibility of using two phase, liquid-gas, xenon-based detectors to passively detect and image special nuclear materials (SNM) over a wide field of view. The author’s analysis and results for each of these project is presented.

Advisor: Daniel McKinsey