Depleted argon from underground sources

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Argon is a powerful scintillator and an excellent medium for detection of ionization. Its high discrimination power against minimum ionization tracks, in favor of selection of nuclear recoils, makes it an attractive medium for direct detection of WIMP dark matter. However, cosmogenic {sup 39}Ar contamination in atmospheric argon limits the size of liquid argon dark matter detectors due to pile-up. The cosmic ray shielding by the earth means that Argon from deep underground is depleted in {sup 39}Ar. In Cortez Colorado a CO{sub 2} well has been discovered to contain approximately 500ppm of argon as a contamination in the CO{sub ... continued below

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8 pages

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Back, H.O.; U., /Princeton; Alton, A.; Coll., /Augustana U.; Calaprice, F.; Galbiati, C. et al. September 1, 2011.

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Argon is a powerful scintillator and an excellent medium for detection of ionization. Its high discrimination power against minimum ionization tracks, in favor of selection of nuclear recoils, makes it an attractive medium for direct detection of WIMP dark matter. However, cosmogenic {sup 39}Ar contamination in atmospheric argon limits the size of liquid argon dark matter detectors due to pile-up. The cosmic ray shielding by the earth means that Argon from deep underground is depleted in {sup 39}Ar. In Cortez Colorado a CO{sub 2} well has been discovered to contain approximately 500ppm of argon as a contamination in the CO{sub 2}. In order to produce argon for dark matter detectors we first concentrate the argon locally to 3-5% in an Ar, N{sub 2}, and He mixture, from the CO{sub 2} through chromatographic gas separation. The N{sub 2} and He will be removed by continuous cryogenic distillation in the Cryogenic Distillation Column recently built at Fermilab. In this talk we will discuss the entire extraction and purification process; with emphasis on the recent commissioning and initial performance of the cryogenic distillation column purification.

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8 pages

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  • Presented at 2nd International Conference on Technology and Instrumentation in Particle Physics 2011: TIPP 2011, Chicago, Illinois, 9-14 Jun 2011

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  • Report No.: FERMILAB-CONF-11-470-AE-PPD
  • Grant Number: AC02-07CH11359
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1037800
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc836342

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  • September 1, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Aug. 26, 2016, 4:14 p.m.

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Back, H.O.; U., /Princeton; Alton, A.; Coll., /Augustana U.; Calaprice, F.; Galbiati, C. et al. Depleted argon from underground sources, article, September 1, 2011; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc836342/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.