Calculation and Measurement of the Rayleigh Scattering Length of the Scintillation Wavelength of Liquid Argon for Dark Matter and Neutrino Detectors

Emily Williams

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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There is wealth of evidence that the majority of the matter in the universe is composed of
non-baryonic dark matter. One candidate for dark matter is weakly interacting massive
particle (WIMP). There are many detectors searching for evidence of WIMP particle
interaction. A common active medium is liquid argon. Argon, like all noble elements is
a scintillator, meaning it produces light when exposed to radiation. Within these large,
liquid argon detectors, one method of determining the signicance of the event is by
determining the event location. This involves a deep understanding of how the scintillation
light optically propagates through the detector, including the Rayleigh scattering length.
The Rayleigh scattering length of liquid argon was formerly contention, as experimental
results did not agree with a theoretical calculation. We will discuss an update calculation
of the wavelength dependent scattering in argon using historical measurements. These
calculations were tested using an experimental test stand, designed and constructed at
Royal Holloway. This will show that the scattering length of the scintillation light of
liquid argon is 58 cm.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Monroe, Jocelyn, Supervisor
  • Nikkel, James, Supervisor
Award date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018


  • Argon
  • Dark matter
  • Rayleigh Scattering
  • Neutrinos

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