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Measurement of the gamma ray background in the Davis cavern at the Sanford Underground Research Facility

  • Author(s): Akerib, DS;
  • Akerlof, CW;
  • Alsum, SK;
  • Angelides, N;
  • Araújo, HM;
  • Armstrong, JE;
  • Arthurs, M;
  • Bai, X;
  • Balajthy, J;
  • Balashov, S;
  • Baxter, A;
  • Bernard, EP;
  • Biekert, A;
  • Biesiadzinski, TP;
  • Boast, KE;
  • Boxer, B;
  • Brás, P;
  • Buckley, JH;
  • Bugaev, VV;
  • Burdin, S;
  • Busenitz, JK;
  • Carels, C;
  • Carlsmith, DL;
  • Carmona-Benitez, MC;
  • Cascella, M;
  • Chan, C;
  • Cole, A;
  • Cottle, A;
  • Cutter, JE;
  • Dahl, CE;
  • de Viveiros, L;
  • Dobson, JEY;
  • Druszkiewicz, E;
  • Edberg, TK;
  • Fan, A;
  • Fiorucci, S;
  • Flaecher, H;
  • Fruth, T;
  • Gaitskell, RJ;
  • Genovesi, J;
  • Ghag, C;
  • Gilchriese, MGD;
  • Gokhale, S;
  • van der Grinten, MGD;
  • Hall, CR;
  • Hans, S;
  • Harrison, J;
  • Haselschwardt, SJ;
  • Hertel, SA;
  • Hor, JYK;
  • Horn, M;
  • Huang, DQ;
  • Ignarra, CM;
  • Jahangir, O;
  • Ji, W;
  • Johnson, J;
  • Kaboth, AC;
  • Kamdin, K;
  • Khaitan, D;
  • Khazov, A;
  • Kim, WT;
  • Kocher, CD;
  • Korley, L;
  • Korolkova, EV;
  • Kras, J;
  • Kraus, H;
  • Kravitz, SW;
  • Kreczko, L;
  • Krikler, B;
  • Kudryavtsev, VA;
  • Leason, EA;
  • Lee, J;
  • Leonard, DS;
  • Lesko, KT;
  • Levy, C;
  • Li, J;
  • Liao, J;
  • Liao, FT;
  • Lin, J;
  • Lindote, A;
  • Linehan, R;
  • Lippincott, WH;
  • Liu, R;
  • Liu, X;
  • Loniewski, C;
  • Lopes, MI;
  • López Paredes, B;
  • Lorenzon, W;
  • Luitz, S;
  • Lyle, JM;
  • Majewski, PA;
  • Manalaysay, A;
  • Manenti, L;
  • Mannino, RL;
  • Marangou, N;
  • Marzioni, MF;
  • McKinsey, DN;
  • McLaughlin, J;
  • Meng, Y;
  • Miller, EH
  • et al.
Abstract

Deep underground environments are ideal for low background searches due to the attenuation of cosmic rays by passage through the earth. However, they are affected by backgrounds from γ-rays emitted by 40K and the 238U and 232Th decay chains in the surrounding rock. The LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiment will search for dark matter particle interactions with a liquid xenon TPC located within the Davis campus at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, at the 4850-foot level. In order to characterise the cavern background, in-situ γ-ray measurements were taken with a sodium iodide detector in various locations and with lead shielding. The integral count rates (0–3300 keV) varied from 596 Hz to 1355 Hz for unshielded measurements, corresponding to a total flux from the cavern walls of 1.9 ± 0.4 γ cm−2s−1. The resulting activity in the walls of the cavern can be characterised as 220 ± 60 Bq/kg of 40K, 29 ± 15 Bq/kg of 238U, and 13 ± 3 Bq/kg of 232Th.

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