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High-pressure Xenon Gas Electroluminescent TPC Developments for Simultaneous Searches for 0- ¦ Decay & WIMP Dark Matter

Abstract: The NEXT-100 experiment, now beginning construction in the Canfranc Underground Laboratory, Spain, will operate at 15 bars with 100 kg of 136Xe for the 0- ¦ decay search. I will describe recent results with small prototypes, indicating that NEXT-100 can provide about 0.5% FWHM energy resolution at the decay Q-value, as well as topological rejection of -rays. However, sensitivity goals for both WIMP dark matter and 0- ¦ decay searches indicate the need for ton-scale active masses. While xenon stands out prominently for new, separate, experimental efforts in both topics at this scale, I present a scenario for conducting both searches in a single high-pressure ton-scale xenon gas detector, without significant compromise to either. In addition, an automatic sensitivity to WIMP directionality C even in a single, ton-scale, high-pressure xenon gas TPC C could plausibly offer an advance of three orders of magnitude relative to current low-pressure TPC concepts. I argue that, in an era of deepening fiscal austerity, such a dual-purpose detector may be possible, at acceptable cost, within the time frame of interest, and deserves our collective attention.
Speaker: Dr. David Nygren - LBNL
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