Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Chad Orzel




apparatus, neutrino, beta decay, particules, energy


We will discuss using the Atom Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) method to trap and count single krypton atoms to measure very accurately the concentration of krypton in a mixture of noble gases. Such measurements are critical for the new generation of neutrino and dark matter detectors that use liquid noble gases (xenon or neon) as a scintillation medium. Beta decay of the rare isotope 85Kr is a significant source of background counts in such detectors, which can tolerate krypton contamination only at the 10−15 level. We estimate that the ATTA method can detect Kr/Rg levels as low as 3 × 10−14 in just 3 hours, considerably faster than more conventional techniques. We will discuss the theory behind the apparatus and the recent progress made towards a working ATTA set-up.