The Snowball Chamber is an R&D project investigating the application of supercooled water as target for dark matter direct detection. The temperature of water in detectors sets the energy threshold. We hypothesize that the leading factor limiting lower temperatures is radioactive backgrounds: particles found naturally in the environment trigger nucleation and freezing in the detector, reducing active time. We completed preliminary calculations of neutrons, the dominant backgrounds, and are working on full backgrounds simulations.
Characterization of Radioactive Backgrounds for the Snowball Dark Matter Detector
by Rachel Ratvasky