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A Major Milestone for an Underground Dark Matter Search Experiment

Crews working on the largest U.S. experiment designed to directly detect dark matter completed a major milestone last month, and are now turning their sights toward startup after experiencing some delays due to global pandemic precautions.

VIDEO: Dark Matter Day Q&A with LUX-ZEPLIN Spokesperson Kevin Lesko

Kevin Lesko, a spokesperson for the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) dark matter experiment and senior physicist at Berkeley Lab, shares his insights about the mysteries of dark matter, what we know about it, and what we hope to learn about it from LZ, in this Q&A interview at Sanford Lab.

Shhh! These Tests Will Enable a Quieter Search for Dark Matter

The subatomic world just got a lot quieter for the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) dark matter experiment. The LZ collaboration has completed 1,200 tests that describe the levels of radioactive decay of the LZ detector components and help to ensure a low level of background “noise” from unwanted particle signals.

Lead Lab Selected for Next-Generation Cosmic Microwave Background Experiment

The largest collaborative undertaking yet to explore the relic light emitted by the infant universe has taken a step forward with the U.S. Department of Energy’s selection of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to lead the partnership of national labs, universities, and other institutions that will carry out the DOE roles and responsibilities for the effort. This next-generation experiment, known as CMB-S4, or Cosmic Microwave Background Stage 4, is planned as a joint DOE and NSF project.

Lab Researcher and Physics Undergrad Shares Poster Project Honoring Black Physicists

Inspired by the nation’s grappling with issues of race and racial discrimination, UC Berkeley physics major and Berkeley Lab student assistant Ana Lyons turned to art as a way to contribute to the conversation.

Natalie Roe Named Berkeley Lab’s Associate Director for Physical Sciences 

Natalie Roe, who joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) as a postdoctoral fellow in 1989 and has served as Physics Division director since 2012, has been named the Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for the Physical Sciences Area. Her appointment was approved by the University of California today and was effective July 1, 2020. The announcement follows an international search. 

Now Complete, Telescope Instrument is Poised to Begin Its Search for Answers About Dark Energy

Even as the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, or DESI, lies dormant within a telescope dome on a mountaintop in Arizona, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DESI project has moved forward in reaching the final formal approval milestone prior to startup.

Site of LUX-ZEPLIN Dark Matter Search Project Carefully Ramps Up Science Work

The Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota, which is home to the LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter search project, has begun a transition toward increased operations.

DESI Team Prepares for Telescope Instrument’s Restart after Unexpected Shutdown

Despite a temporary shutdown of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument in Arizona – which was in its final stages of testing in preparation to begin mapping millions of galaxies in 3D when the pandemic struck – a variety of project tasks are still moving forward.

Seeing the Universe Through New Lenses

A new study by an international team of scientists revealed hundreds of new strong gravitational lensing candidates based on a deep dive into data collected for a U.S. Department of Energy-supported telescope project in Arizona called the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument. The study, published in The Astrophysical Journal, benefited from the winning machine-learning algorithm in an international science competition.