Energy Resolution and Applications of High Pressure Xenon Detectors

Joshua Renner, University of California, Berkeley

Photo of Joshua Renner

Xenon has been used as a detection medium in a number of experiments directed toward the detection of ionizing radiation. We investigate its properties as a detection medium which, though well studied, are not fully understood. It is known that the intrinsic energy resolution of xenon detectors begins to degrade once the xenon gas reaches a certain density and continues to degrade with increasing density. This interesting problem has been attributed in the past to the recombination of ionized electrons with positive ions associated with the ionization process. We also describe a high-pressure xenon gas detector that is currently being constructed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. This detector will implement a detection technique called electroluminescence and may precede a larger detector that will target neutrinoless double beta decay. In addition to applications to fundamental physics, high pressure xenon detectors may also be strong candidates for monitoring the proliferation of nuclear materials.

Abstract Author(s): J. Renner, D. Hogan, D. Chan, A. Goldschmidt, R. Lafever, M. Liu, D. Nygren, J. Siegrist, H. Spieler, and T. Weber