Mr Nicola Casali (INFN - Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso)
Bolometers have proven to be good detectors to search for rare processes because of their excellent energy resolution and for their extremely low intrinsic background. In this kind of experiments, the capability of discriminating the signal produced by the alpha particles represents an important aspect for the background reduction. One possibility for obtaining such a discrimination is provided by the detection of the Cerenkov light which, at the low energies of the natural radioactivity, is emitted only by electrons. In this presentation, the results of measurements of the Cerenkov light yield of TeO2 at room temperature are reported. The signals produced by cosmic rays in the crystal are readout on two opposite faces by two Photo-Multiplier Tubes (PMTs). These signals show a rise and a decay times of few nanoseconds. A clear evidence of the directionality of the main part of the detected light is also found. These measurements represent the first clear indication that Cerenkov light is the main, if not even the only, component of the light signal in a TeO2 crystal. These results open the possibility to make large improvements in the performance of experiments based on this kind of materials.
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Dr Cecilia Voena (INFN sezione di Roma) Dr Davide Pinci (INFN sezione di Roma) Dr Fabio Bellini (Sapienza Università di Roma) Dr Filippo Orio (INFN sezione di Roma) Dr Ioan Dafinei (INFN sezione di Roma) Dr Marco Vignati (INFN sezione di Roma) Dr Michela Marafini (Museo storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche "E. Fermi") Mr Nicola Casali (INFN - Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso) Dr Silvio Morganti (INFN sezione di Roma)