An Analysis of Background Events in a Particle Detector Mentors David Stuart, Matthew Citron, and James Sheplock (Physics)
Ricardo Escobar Franco

Evidence for the existence of dark matter has been well established although direct detection has eluded the scientific community. We know dark matter interacts very weakly with ordinary matter yet the question of its actual composition remains unanswered. Theories have been developed that account for the lack of interaction through a small mixing with a hidden sector. The small mixing could produce a unit-charge particle in a hidden sector that will interact with an effective small charge in our sector, like a millicharge. These millicharged particles (mCP) could be produced at the LHC where they would escape detection from any currently installed detectors. There is an experiment being developed at the LHC that would be capable of detecting these mCP ?s, it is called the MilliQan experiment. A crucial aspect of MilliQan is to understand backgrounds, particularly radioactive backgrounds. The research presented here analyzes such backgrounds on the bench. By placing detector components under various conditions and analyzing the response of correlated backgrounds, we can optimize the design of the full-scale detector to suppress these events.

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