Direct measurement of the bubble-nucleation energy threshold in a CF 3I bubble chamber

E. Behnke*, T. Benjamin, S. J. Brice, D. Broemmelsiek, J. I. Collar, P. S. Cooper, M. Crisler, C. E. Dahl, D. Fustin, J. Hall, C. Harnish, I. Levine, W. H. Lippincott, T. Moan, T. Nania, R. Neilson, E. Ramberg, A. E. Robinson, M. Ruschman, A. SonnenscheinE. Vázquez-Jáuregui, R. A. Rivera, L. Uplegger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We have directly measured the energy threshold and efficiency for bubble nucleation from iodine recoils in a CF3I bubble chamber in the energy range of interest for a dark matter search. These interactions cannot be probed by standard neutron calibration methods, so we develop a new technique by observing the elastic scattering of 12 GeV/c negative pions. The pions are tracked with a silicon pixel telescope and the reconstructed scattering angle provides a measure of the nuclear recoil kinetic energy. The bubble chamber was operated with a nominal threshold of (13.6±0.6) keV. Interpretation of the results depends on the response to fluorine and carbon recoils, but in general we find agreement with the predictions of the classical bubble-nucleation theory. This measurement confirms the applicability of CF 3I as a target for spin-independent dark matter interactions and represents a novel technique for calibration of superheated fluid detectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021101
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 30 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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