Scintillating Bubble Chamber

cPhoto: Mathieu Laurin, Université de Montréal

The Scintillating Bubble Chamber is a dark matter experiment that uses the bubble chamber technology pioneered by the PICO collaboration to increase sensitivity to 'light' dark matter searches.

The detector is comprised of a quartz jar filled with liquid argon held under pressure just above its boiling point. When particle hits the target argon, it deposits enough energy to cause a bubble to form. This bubble is captured by cameras, and by piezos 'listening' for bubble formation. Additionally, there are silicon photomultipliers looking for scintillation light created by particles colliding with the argon. To shift the scintillation light into a range that can be detected by the photomultipliers, a small amount of xenon is mixed in with the argon.

The collaboration is also building an identical detector that will study reactor neutrinos and will likely be installed near a nuclear reactor in Mexico. This detector is under construction at Fermilab, and once it is successfully built the second will be constructed at SNOLAB.