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.
Alan “Al” Smith was a pioneer in the “low-background counting” performance of particle detectors – their ability to see ever-fainter signatures of particle interactions. He developed the gold standard for measuring trace levels of radioactivity in materials and components.
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.
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.
Just five years after joining Berkeley Lab as a Physics Division fellow, Zach Marshall is co-leading an international team of researchers in search of supersymmetry — the theory that every known particle has a “superpartner” particle. Now with funding from an early career award announced last November, Marshall and his team are building a powerful super-scheduling platform that will help particle physicists process more data faster without investing in costly new computing infrastructure.
The race is on to build the most sensitive experiment designed to directly detect dark matter particles known as WIMPs. The LUX-ZEPLIN project has formally cleared a key construction milestone that will propel it toward its April 2020 goal for completion.
The town of Lead South Dakota has a hidden gem: an enormous, underground mine that’s been retrofitted to accommodate large-scale particle physics experiments. These slideshows and videos give a sense of what it’s like to descend 4,850 feet below the surface and work on projects that could shine light on fundamental truths about the universe.
The Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, a facility that highlights Homestake Mine’s gold and silver past and particle physics future, held its grand opening ceremony on June 30.
The LUX dark matter experiment at the Sanford Underground Research Facility has announced its first results in the search for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). Following an initial three-month run, LUX has demonstrated that it has a sensitivity limit three times better than any previous dark matter search, establishing new bounds on possible properties of WIMPs.