Observables for recoil identification in high-definition Gas Time Projection Chambers
Directional detection of nuclear recoils is broadly desirable in nuclear and particle physics. At low recoil energies, this capability may be used to confirm the cosmological origin of a dark matter signal, to penetrate the so-called neutrino floor, or to distinguish between different neutrino sources. Gas Time Projection Chambers (TPCs) can enable directional recoil detection if the readout granularity is sufficiently high, as is the case when micro-pattern gaseous detectors (MPGDs) are utilized. A key challenge in such detectors is identifying and rejecting background electron recoil events caused by gamma rays from radioactive contaminants in the detector materials and the environment. We define new observables that can distinguish electron and nuclear recoils, even at keV-scale energies, based on the simulated ionization's topology. We perform a simulation study that shows these observables outperform the traditionally used discriminant, dE/dx, by up to three orders of magnitude. Furthermore, these new observables work well even at ionization energies well below 10keV and remain robust even in the regime where directionality fails.
Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
- Pub Date:
- October 2021
- dark matter detectors;
- dark matter experiments;
- Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors