118 research outputs found

    KWISP: an ultra-sensitive force sensor for the Dark Energy sector

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    An ultra-sensitive opto-mechanical force sensor has been built and tested in the optics laboratory at INFN Trieste. Its application to experiments in the Dark Energy sector, such as those for Chameleon-type WISPs, is particularly attractive, as it enables a search for their direct coupling to matter. We present here the main characteristics and the absolute force calibration of the KWISP (Kinetic WISP detection) sensor. It is based on a thin Si3N4 micro-membrane placed inside a Fabry-Perot optical cavity. By monitoring the cavity characteristic frequencies it is possible to detect the tiny membrane displacements caused by an applied force. Far from the mechanical resonant frequency of the membrane, the measured force sensitivity is 5.0e-14 N/sqrt(Hz), corresponding to a displacement sensitivity of 2.5e-15 m/sqrt(Hz), while near resonance the sensitivity is 1.5e-14 N/sqrt(Hz), reaching the estimated thermal limit, or, in terms of displacement, 7.5e-16 N/sqrt(Hz). These displacement sensitivities are comparable to those that can be achieved by large interferometric gravitational wave detectors.Comment: 9 pages, 8 figures in colo

    The discrimination capabilities of Micromegas detectors at low energy

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    The latest generation of Micromegas detectors show a good energy resolution, spatial resolution and low threshold, which make them idoneous in low energy applications. Two micromegas detectors have been built for dark matter experiments: CAST, which uses a dipole magnet to convert axion into detectable x-ray photons, and MIMAC, which aims to reconstruct the tracks of low energy nuclear recoils in a mixture of CF4 and CHF3. These readouts have been respectively built with the microbulk and bulk techniques, which show different gain, electron transmission and energy resolutions. The detectors and the operation conditions will be described in detail as well as their discrimination capabilities for low energy photons will be discussed.Comment: To be published in the proceedings of the TIPP2011 conference (Physics Procedia

    Search for axions in streaming dark matter

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    A new search strategy for the detection of the elusive dark matter (DM) axion is proposed. The idea is based on streaming DM axions, whose flux might get temporally enormously enhanced due to gravitational lensing. This can happen if the Sun or some planet (including the Moon) is found along the direction of a DM stream propagating towards the Earth location. The experimental requirements to the axion haloscope are a wide-band performance combined with a fast axion rest mass scanning mode, which are feasible. Once both conditions have been implemented in a haloscope, the axion search can continue parasitically almost as before. Interestingly, some new DM axion detectors are operating wide-band by default. In order not to miss the actually unpredictable timing of a potential short duration signal, a network of co-ordinated axion antennae is required, preferentially distributed world-wide. The reasoning presented here for the axions applies to some degree also to any other DM candidates like the WIMPs.Comment: 5 page

    New concepts regarding micro/nanopharmaceutical polymer systems with applications in ophthalmology and neurosciences

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    Particulate systems like micro/nanoparticles have been used as a physical approach to modify the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of various types of drug molecules increasing this way the drug bioavailability and avoiding the toxic level. The major advantages of the particulate systems include the protection of the drug entity in the systemic circulation, restriction access of the drug to the chosen sites and delivery of the drug at a controlled and sustained rate to the site of action. Various materials have been used in the formulation of micro/nanoparticles for drug delivery research to increase therapeutic benefit, while minimizing side effects. Each class of materials (metals, lipids, polymers) presents advantages which make them suitable for different classes of applications. This paper focuses mainly on polymer particulate systems due to their large applicability area given by the diversity of the polymers properties. We review various aspects of micro/nanoparticle formulation including preparation, release mechanisms, effect of their characteristics and their applications in the field of ophthalmology and neurosciences. Some of the most interesting applications of polymer micro/nanoparticulates in glaucoma, retinal disorders and optical nerve disorders, respectivelly in neurology and neurosurgery are presented

    CAST microbulk micromegas in the Canfranc Underground Laboratory

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    During the last taking data campaigns of the CAST experiment, the micromegas detectors have achieved background levels of ‚Čą5√ó10‚ąí6\approx 5 \times 10^{-6}keV‚ąí1^{-1}cm‚ąí2^{-2}s‚ąí1^{-1} between 2 and 9 keV. This performance has been possible thanks to the introduction of the microbulk technology, the implementation of a shielding and the development of discrimination algorithms. It has motivated new studies towards a deeper understanding of CAST detectors background. One of the working lines includes the construction of a replica of the set-up used in CAST by micromegas detectors and its installation in the Canfranc Underground Laboratory. Thanks to the comparison between the performance of the detectors underground and at surface, shielding upgrades, etc, different contributions to the detectors background have been evaluated. In particular, an upper limit <2√ó10‚ąí7< 2 \times 10^{-7}keV‚ąí1^{-1}cm‚ąí2^{-2}s‚ąí1^{-1} for the intrinsic background of the detector has been obtained. This work means a first evaluation of the potential of the newest micromegas technology in an underground laboratory, the most suitable environment for Rare Event Searches.Comment: 6 pages, 8 figures. To appear in the proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Technology and Instrumentation for Particle Physics (TIPP 2011

    X-ray detection with Micromegas with background levels below 10‚ąí6^{-6} keV‚ąí1^{-1}cm‚ąí2^{-2}s‚ąí1^{-1}

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    Micromegas detectors are an optimum technological choice for the detection of low energy x-rays. The low background techniques applied to these detectors yielded remarkable background reductions over the years, being the CAST experiment beneficiary of these developments. In this document we report on the latest upgrades towards further background reductions and better understanding of the detectors' response. The upgrades encompass the readout electronics, a new detector design and the implementation of a more efficient cosmic muon veto system. Background levels below 10‚ąí6^{-6}keV‚ąí1^{-1}cm‚ąí2^{-2}s‚ąí1^{-1} have been obtained at sea level for the first time, demonstrating the feasibility of the expectations posed by IAXO, the next generation axion helioscope. Some results obtained with a set of measurements conducted in the x-ray beam of the CAST Detector Laboratory will be also presented and discussed

    aKWISP: investigating short-distance interactions at sub-micron scales

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    The sub-micron range in the field of short distance interactions has yet to be opened to experimental investigation, and may well hold the key to understanding al least part of the dark matter puzzle. The aKWISP (advanced-KWISP) project introduces the novel Double Membrane Interaction Monitor (DMIM), a combined source-sensing device where interaction distances can be as short as 100 nm or even 10 nm, much below the 1-10 micron distance which is the lower limit encountered by current experimental efforts. aKWISP builds on the technology and the results obtained with the KWISP opto-mechanical force sensor now searching at CAST for the direct coupling to matter of solar chameleons. It will reach the ultimate quantum-limited sensitivity by exploiting an array of technologies, including operation at milli-Kelvin temperatures. Recent suggestions point at short-distance interactions studies as intriguing possibilities for the detection of axions and of new physical phenomena

    Atmospheric Temperature anomalies as manifestation of the dark Universe

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    We are investigating the possible origin of small-scale anomalies, like the annual stratospheric temperature anomalies. Unexpectedly within known physics, their observed planetary "dependency", does not match concurrent solar activity, whose impact on the atmosphere is unequivocal; this points at an additional energy source of exo-solar origin. A viable concept behind such observations is based on possible gravitational focusing by the Sun and its planets towards the Earth of low-speed invisible streaming matter; its influx towards the Earth gets temporally enhanced. Only a somehow "strongly" interacting invisible streaming matter with the small upper atmospheric screening can be behind the observed temperature excursions. Ordinary dark matter (DM) candidates like axions or WIMPs, cannot have any noticeable impact. The associated energy deposition is O(‚ąľ1000‚ÄČGeV/cm2/sec)\mathcal{O}(\sim 1000\, \mathrm{GeV}/{{\mathrm{cm}}^2}/\mathrm{sec}). The atmosphere has been uninterruptedly monitored for decades. Therefore, the upper atmosphere can serve as a novel (low-threshold) detector for the dark Universe, with built-in spatiotemporal resolution while the solar system gravity acts temporally as a signal amplifier. Interestingly, the anomalous ionosphere shows a relationship with the inner earth activity like earthquakes. Similarly investigating the transient sudden stratospheric warmings within the same reasoning, the nature of the assumed "invisible streams" could be deciphered.Comment: 8 pages, 7 figures, Published in the proceedings of the "15th International Conference on Meteorology, Climatology and Atmospheric Physics (COMECAP 2021)" see https://www.conferre.gr/allevents/comecap2020/Proceedings_Final.pd
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