Nov 21 – 22, 2019
Europe/Madrid timezone

(α,n) yield in low background experiments

21-22 November 2019, CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain

The radiogenic neutrons produced in the detectors materials can be a source of background for several underground experiments, thus a precise estimate of the (α,n) neutron flux and energy spectrum is crucial to establish the detector sensitivity. Particularly, they can produce single scattering nuclear recoils in the same range of interest for WIMP direct searches, giving an irreducible background.  The goal of this workshop is to put together experts in this field, in order to:

  • present and compare the different techniques adopted by the experiments to estimate the (α,n) neutrons from the detector materials,

  • review the needs of the next generation of low background experiments,
  • discuss new ideas and new approaches to get more precise estimates of the  (α,n) induced background,
  • explore possible ways to measure the (α,n) cross section.

This workshop is targeted to nuclear and particle physicists working in low background experiments. It is organised by the DarkMatter group (part of the María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence in Research) and the Nuclear Innovation Unit of the Department of Energy.

Welcome to CIEMAT

CIEMAT is a public research institute located in the west area of Madrid, close to the Campus of the University Complutense. The Dark Matter group (which also participates in Ptolemy) is part of the Maria de Maeztu Unit of Excellence in Research, Department of Basic Research.

The meeting will be held in the room Sala B, building 1, 2nd floor. Find your way from the main entrance to building 1 in this map (blue line).

At CIEMAT, you can connect to the WiFi networks eduroam (check connection details with your home institute before travelling) and VISITOR (access key will be provided later).

How to reach CIEMAT

The lab is about 5 km (3 mi) from the city centre and 17 km (10 mi) from the International Airport Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez. A taxi ride from the airport to the city centre (meaning inside the M-30 ring) costs 30 € (per trip, not per person!).

Information about the Metro (Underground) to/from the airport is on this web page.

To move around Madrid, use public transportation. First, get a Multi-Card (2.5 €) at the ATMs in Metro stations (including the airport) and charge it with up to 20 metro-bus tickets (a 10 ticket charge costs 12.20 €). A single card can be used by several people in the same trip (ticking the corresponding number of passengers on entrance). Detailed information here.

It is easy to reach CIEMAT by public transportation. Line 82 (Moncloa-CIEMAT) has a bus stop 50 meters away from the south (main) entrance of the Institute. Details on how to reach CIEMAT are on this web page.


For you to enter CIEMAT, we need to provide your name and passport/identity-card number to the Security Team. Please, register in the registration page.

Upon arrival to CIEMAT, enter the gatehouse and present your passport/identity card to the guards. They will verify you are in the list of attendees and provide you with a temporary access card and a sitemap. The meeting venue is in building 1. A member of our team will be there to help you, in case of need.

There is no registration fee. A fee will be charged to those willing to attend the social dinner on Thursday evening (35 €).  We prefer payment in cash (during the registration in building 1), but credit card payment is available.

The social dinner will take place on Thursday 21 at 20:30 in Restaurante Sal Gorda, Calle de Beatriz de Bobadilla, 9 (entrance in number 3). The restaurant is very close to the underground stations Guzmán el Bueno (lines 6/gray, and 7/orange) and Vicente Aleixandre (line 6/gray), and within walking distance from CIEMAT (1.8 km, 1.1 mi).

Weather in Madrid

Madrid is located about 650 m AMSL. The air is generally dry and the wind chill is less pronounced than in humid places. In this link, you have the weather forecast for Madrid in the coming days.


The availability of hotels in Madrid is enormous. We have selected a set of hotels not far from CIEMAT, with at least 3 stars and well rated by users, with prices below 150 € per night. This is the list of hotels selected (links to are given for convenience, you are encouraged to check other booking portals to get the best rates).

We recommend the following hotels for their location, within walking distance from Moncloa station (the path to bus stop of line 82 is the link in parentheses):

What to see/do in Madrid

The official Madrid tourism website contains plenty of interesting suggestions. 

Those visiting Madrid for the first time cannot miss The Nacional Art Museums El PradoReina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza.

To get a flavour of life in Madrid, we recommend you to take your time walking around El Retiro Park.

We have prepared for you a pleasant tour (see map) that will take you to some emblematic places in the centre of Madrid. Starting from Argüelles (pronounced [aɾɣ̞weʝes]), where some of the recommended hotels are located, you can go to the Temple of Debod to witness the sunset. Next, we suggest you go to the Plaza de la Paja (Straw Square) or the Cava Baja, which are full of typical places to have dinner with wine and tapas. On the suggested route, you will pass by the Royal Palace and the Royal Theatre (Opera House), the Almudena Cathedral and the Segovia Viaduct. After dinner, you can walk through Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol (the centre of Madrid) and Plaza de Callao, where you get on the metro line 3 that will take you back to Argüelles in a few minutes. Free variations of this tour are encouraged, as they will let you discover hidden gems of Madrid.

If you are a fan of live music, there is no limit to what's on offer in Madrid. To mention just one of our favourites, we recommend La Coquette Blues Bar, right in the centre of Madrid.

If you plan for extra time in the area, consider visiting Toledo (75 km/47 mi from Madrid) and/or Segovia (87 km/54 mi), cities rich in history, art and local culinary delights.

General recommendations

Madrid is a very popular tourist destination. Although it is a very safe city, pickpockets do their business, particularly in the city centre. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially during public transport. Carry your backpack/wallet/computer bag in front of you.

In case of emergency, dial 112.


  • Daniel Cano Ott
  • Pablo García Abia
  • Roberto Santorelli
Room B, building 1
Avda. Complutense 40, 28040 Madrid (Spain)