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XENON100 - The next Step towards 1 Ton

After the very successful run of XENON10, the first XENON detector with an overall mass of 15 kg and a target mass of 5.4 kg (after cuts), a part of the collaboration decided to go one step further: XENON100 will have a 10 times larger fiducial volume. This will increase the sensitivity to the WIMP parameter space even further and will provide an improved chance to detect WIMPs directly.

Although the fiducial mass of XENON100 is be 10 times larger than XENON10, the overall size of the experiment is still small enough to fit in the already existing shielding cavern at the Gran Sasso lab. The new experiment is updated and improved in many ways, however, since it is based on an already established detector, are quite confident that we will be able to run the first Dark Matter experiment with a detector mass of about 100 kg very soon. XENON drawing
Drawing of the full XENON100 setup. The cryostat housing the TPC is installed inside a polyethylene/lead shielding.

XENON100 is already installed underground at LNGS (Italy) in a depth of 3600 mwe since February 2008. Calibrations and measurements in order to understand the detector response are ongoing since then and the first Dark Matter run is scheduled for the end of 2008.

Rice's Contribution to XENON100

The Rice XENON group is involved in many aspects of the experiment: We contribute to the design of the time projection chamber (TPC), especially to the the anode and the cathode grids, and perform electrostatic simulations to improve its field homogeneity. TPC mesh
Prototype of a XENON 100 TPC anode grid.
DAQ setup
The DAQ setup for XENON100.

Rice is responsible for all aspects of data acquisition (DAQ) and trigger. Furthermore, we are also involved in parts of the experiment slow control, in particular the precise monitoring of the liquid xenon level.

In the future, we will focus on simulations of the XENON100 light response, position reconstruction, data analysis, and - of course - detector operation and calibrations.

updated: 09/16/2008 by Marc Schumann