Quentin Riffard, a project scientist for the LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter detection experiment that is now being installed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, shares his experiences in researching dark matter in this Q&A.
Last week, crews at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota strapped the central component of LUX-ZEPLIN – the largest direct-detection dark matter experiment in the U.S. – below an elevator and s-l-o-w-l-y lowered it 4,850 feet down a shaft formerly used in gold-mining operations.
Most of the remaining components needed to fully assemble an underground dark matter-search experiment called LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) arrived at the project’s South Dakota home during a rush of deliveries in June. When complete, LZ will be the largest, most sensitive U.S.-based experiment yet that is designed to directly detect dark matter particles.
Theorized dark matter particles haven’t yet shown up where scientists had expected them. So Berkeley Lab researchers are now designing new and nimble experiments that can look for dark matter in previously unexplored ranges of particle mass and energy, and using previously untested methods.
To address messy measurements of the cosmic web that connects matter in the universe, researchers at Berkeley Lab developed a way to improve the accuracy and clarity of these measurements based on the stretching of the universe’s oldest light.
The LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter detector, which will soon begin its deep-underground search for particles thought to account for most matter in the universe, now has “eyes.”
Scientists have a new window into the search for dark matter – an acrylic vessel that features a grouping of 12-foot-tall transparent tanks with 1-inch-thick walls. The tanks, which will surround a central detector for a nearly mile-deep experiment under construction in South Dakota called LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), will be filled with liquid that produces tiny flashes of light in some particle interactions.
Through a new research program supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of High Energy Physics, a consortium of researchers from Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst will develop sensors that enlist the seemingly weird properties of quantum physics to probe for dark matter particles in new ways, with increased sensitivity, and in uncharted regions.
A large titanium cryostat designed to keep its contents chilled to minus 148 degrees has completed its journey from Europe to South Dakota, where it will become part of a next-generation dark matter detector for the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiment.
Scientists have decoded faint distortions in the patterns of the universe’s earliest light to map huge tubelike structures invisible to our eyes – known as filaments – that serve as superhighways for delivering matter to dense hubs such as galaxy clusters.