On Wednesday, October 23, 2013, Jeremy Lopez of MIT will give his talk:
Dark matter direct detection experiments search for nuclear recoils caused by interactions with a wind of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). The rotation of Earth around its axis will create a large daily modulation in the direction of the WIMP wind that may provide an unambiguous signature of WIMP dark matter. To search for this daily modulation, the Dark Matter Time Projection Chamber (DMTPC) collaboration is developing low pressure gas detectors with the ability to identify the directions of low energy nuclear recoils using optical readout. This talk will discuss recent work commissioning and operating a small 20 liter prototype dark matter detector in a surface laboratory at MIT. The collaboration will soon begin constructing a much larger cubic meter detector, which will be installed underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico.