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Potential dark matter detector?: the detection of low energy neutrons by superfluid 3He

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>4/09/1995
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical review letters
Issue number10
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)1887-1890
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Using an existing experiment we have demonstrated in a pilot study that superfluid He-3 at 100 mu K can be used as a nuclear recoil detector sensitive to neutron and gamma interactions depositing energies down to a few hundred eV. The deposited energy is converted to He-3 quasiparticles which are detected by their damping effect on a vibrating wire resonator in the liquid. The system can be calibrated independently but a convenient fixed point is provided by the exothermic reaction n + He-3(2) = p + H-3(1) + 764 keV. Given the great potential for improvement we propose that the system might make a sensitive weakly interacting massive particle detector.