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  1. Abstract On 2019 August 14 at 21:10:39 UTC, the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration (LVC) detected a possible neutron star–black hole merger (NSBH), the first ever identified. An extensive search for an optical counterpart of this event, designated GW190814, was undertaken using the Dark Energy Camera on the 4 m Victor M. Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Target of Opportunity interrupts were issued on eight separate nights to observe 11 candidates using the 4.1 m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope’s Goodman High Throughput Spectrograph in order to assess whether any of these transients was likely to be an optical counterpartmore »of the possible NSBH merger. Here, we describe the process of observing with SOAR, the analysis of our spectra, our spectroscopic typing methodology, and our resultant conclusion that none of the candidates corresponded to the gravitational wave merger event but were all instead other transients. Finally, we describe the lessons learned from this effort. Application of these lessons will be critical for a successful community spectroscopic follow-up program for LVC observing run 4 (O4) and beyond.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  3. Finding unambiguous evidence of dark matter interactions in a particle detector is a main objective of physics research. The liquid argon time projection chamber technique for the detection of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMP) allows sensitivities down to the so-called neutrino floor for high and low WIMP masses. Based on the successful operation of the DarkSide-50 detector, a new and more sensitive experiment, DarkSide-20k, was designed and is now under construction. A thorough understanding of the DarkSide-50 detector response to events classified as dark matter as well as all other interactions is essential for an optimal design of the newmore »experiment. In this paper, we report on a particular set of events, for which scintillation-ionization signals are observed in association with signals from single or few isolated electrons. We identified and provided an interpretation for two event types in which electrons are produced via photoelectric effect on the cathode electrode and in the bulk liquid. Events with photoelectric emissions are observed in association with most interactions with large energy depositions in the detector. From the measured rate of these events, we determine the photo-ionization probability, or photoelectric quantum efficiency, of tetraphenyl butadiene (TPB) at wavelengths around 128 nm.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 20, 2022
  4. DarkSide-50 has demonstrated the high potential of dual-phase liquid argon time projection chambers in exploring interactions of WIMPs in the GeV/c2 mass range. The technique, based on the detection of the ionization signal amplified via electroluminescence in the gas phase, allows to explore recoil energies down to the sub-keV range. We report here on the DarkSide-50 measurement of the ionization yield of electronic recoils down to about 180 eVer, exploiting 37Ar and 39Ar decays, and extrapolated to a few ionization electrons with the Thomas-Imel box model. Moreover, we present the determination of the ionization response to nuclear recoils down tomore »∼ 500 eVnr , the lowest ever achieved in liquid argon, using in situ neutron calibration sources and external datasets from neutron beam experiments.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 20, 2022
  5. ABSTRACT We present reconstructed convergence maps, mass maps, from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) third year (Y3) weak gravitational lensing data set. The mass maps are weighted projections of the density field (primarily dark matter) in the foreground of the observed galaxies. We use four reconstruction methods, each is a maximum a posteriori estimate with a different model for the prior probability of the map: Kaiser–Squires, null B-mode prior, Gaussian prior, and a sparsity prior. All methods are implemented on the celestial sphere to accommodate the large sky coverage of the DES Y3 data. We compare the methods using realisticmore »ΛCDM simulations with mock data that are closely matched to the DES Y3 data. We quantify the performance of the methods at the map level and then apply the reconstruction methods to the DES Y3 data, performing tests for systematic error effects. The maps are compared with optical foreground cosmic-web structures and are used to evaluate the lensing signal from cosmic-void profiles. The recovered dark matter map covers the largest sky fraction of any galaxy weak lensing map to date.« less