We are participating in the MAX and Darkside collaborations. Goal is the design of next generation detectors to search for dark matter. Compared to the about 5% of visible matter in the universe, this dark matter is thought to make up some 23% of the missing material (the rest is attributed to dark energy).
The detectors are to be located deep under ground in a former gold mine (Homestake) up in South Dakota. The particular detector we are involved with will be a dual phase, liquid argon device. Our focus right now is on the hardware/software design of the data acquisition system and looking at the shielding for the cosmic muon induced neutron backgrounds.
Our group takes part in the design phase of COMET, an experiment which sets out to find the flavor violating reaction μ → e. MECO, a very similar experiment, was proposed some years ago but failed to get funded at the final stage. Quite some of the basic ideas of MECO were carried over and improved on for COMET. The experiment will be located at JPARC and is mainly a Japanese collaboration. At the same time there are now planes for a US version, Mu2e, which is to be implemented at Fermi National Laboratory.
We are also performing neutron shielding studies in context of the RTBT at OakRidge, a high intensity 1GeV proton transport beamline. This exercise includes the comparision of predictions from particle transport codes MCNPx and FLUKA. The origin for the project was to understand beam related backgrounds for an envisioned low energy neutrino scattering experiment.