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``Old'' Mica

WIMP detection requires exposure times of kg-years. A novel approach is to replace the 100 kg detector with small amounts of material that has been exposed for nearly a billion years. Snowden-Ifft and collaborators [62] have looked for tracks produced by WIMP scatters off of heavy nuclei (such as cadmium) in ancient Mica. They identify these tracks by etching the Mica and have calibrated their experiment by bombarding the Mica with a neutron source.

Dave Spergel
Wed Mar 6 14:02:15 EST 1996