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A High Pressure Xenon Time Projection Chamber for Double Beta Decay


O'Callaghan-Hay, Bridget Mary Geraldine (1989) A High Pressure Xenon Time Projection Chamber for Double Beta Decay. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/eaeq-k834.


This thesis describes the design, construction and performance of a high-pressure, xenon, gas time projection chamber (TPC) for the study of double beta decay in ¹³⁶Xe. The TPC when operating at 5 atm can accommodate 28 moles of 60% enriched ¹³⁶Xe. The TPC has operated as a detector at Caltech since 1986. It is capable of reconstructing a charged particle trajectory and can easily distinguish between different kinds of charged particles. A gas purification and xenon gas recovery system were developed. The electronics for the 338 channels of readout was developed along with a data acquistion system. Currently, the detector is being prepared at the University of Neuchatel for installation in the low background laboratory situated in the St. Gotthard tunnel, Switzerland. In one year of runtime the detector should be sensitive to a 0ν lifetime of the order of 10²⁴ y, which corresponds to a neutrino mass in the range 0.3 to 3.3 eV.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Boehm, Felix H.
Thesis Committee:
  • Boehm, Felix H. (chair)
  • Vogel, Petr
  • Kavanagh, Ralph William
  • Weinstein, Alan Jay
Defense Date:9 January 1989
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05222013-142951326
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7741
Deposited On:24 May 2013 14:37
Last Modified:21 Sep 2021 23:12

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