Motivation and Topics

Excavation work is now underway for the new international facility for deep underground particle astrophysics (SNOLAB), located in Sudbury, Canada. Funded through the Canada Foundation For Innovation (CFI), the facility, located 2070m below ground in INCO's Creighton Mine, will host multiple large scale and small experiments in neutrino physics, dark matter, and other fundamental research.

Recent experimental proof of neutrino mass and flavour oscillations continues to enrich and expand the field of neutrino astrophysics. The next steps in neutrino research seek to fix the absolute mass scale, measure the mixing parameters and CP-violation, determine if neutrinos are Majorana or Dirac particles, and to measure the flux of lower energy neutrinos from the primary reaction processes in the sun. The field also includes detectors for dark matter searches, and the detection of geo-neutrinos, reactor neutrinos and from possible beamed neutrino sources.

The next generation of proposed experiments will demand ultra-low detector backgrounds to reach the instrument sensitivities required. This will require novel techniques in the development, construction, operation and analysis of these experiments. Such issues include the low background radioactivity assay and purification of detector components and materials, and the development of high purity noble gases.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together experts in this field for presentations and discussion covering broadly the issues of low radioactivity techniques. The intention is to foster the collaboration and resource sharing required for the new generation of detectors to be developed at underground facilities.

Examples of topics to be discussed are:

-Survey of existing and planned low background facilities and resources.
-Low background detectors, shielding techniques and radiopurity requirements.
-New scintillators (optical properties, loading, and purification).
-Radon emanation and diffusion studies.
-Radon assay techniques.
-Radon free air, very low background noble gases (free of Rn, Ar and Kr).
-Radium assay techniques.
-Wash-off, leaching, surface contamination, screening and cleanliness studies.
-Water and scintillator purification studies.
-Low-level gamma-ray spectrometry.
-Neutron activation analysis techniques.
-ICPMS, atomic absorption and x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy.
-Studies of cosmogenic activation of materials.
-Software, simulations, electronics, vetoes and in-situ assay techniques.
-Simulation of background radiation and cosmic ray backgrounds and neutron fluxes.
-Adaptation of industrial processes and instrumentation.