There is a broad effort in the U.S. neutrino physics community to develop the technologies necessary to build a kiloton scale liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC) detector for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE). Liquid argon scintillation light collection is an essential component of this R&D effort, as it can be used to determine the absolute drift time of an event, reject cosmic backgrounds, and complement TPC-based particle reconstructions. The challenge for liquid argon scintillation light collection systems is that the scintillation light is emitted with a peak wavelength in the far UV (128 nm) and cannot be directly detected by a photomultiplier tube. Instead, the photons must first be wavelength-shifted to the sensitive range of the light detection elements. In this talk we briefly review LArTPC technology using the MicroBooNE detector as our example. We then focus on recent efforts to understand and improve liquid argon scintillation light collection efficiencies, and their implications for both the neutrino and dark matter communities.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 4:30pm
Matt Toups (MIT)