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.
As reported in Nature Physics, a Berkeley Lab-led team of physicists and materials scientists was the first to unambiguously observe and document the unique optical phenomena that occur in certain types of synthetic materials called moiré superlattices. The new findings will help researchers understand how to better manipulate materials into light emitters with controllable quantum
This video and accompanying article highlight the decades of discoveries, achievements and progress in particle accelerator R&D at Berkeley Lab. These accelerators have enabled new explorations of the atomic nucleus; the production and discovery of new elements and isotopes, and of subatomic particles and their properties; created new types of medical imaging and treatments; and provided new insight into the nature of matter and energy, and new methods to advance industry and security, among other wide-ranging applications.
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.
A computer cluster at Berkeley Lab, which switched off last month, since 1996 had served as a steady workhorse in supporting groundbreaking physics research conducted by large collaborations.
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.
A simple method developed by a Berkeley Lab-led team could turn ordinary semiconducting materials into quantum machines – superthin devices with extraordinary electronic behavior. Such an advancement could help to revolutionize a number of industries aiming for energy-efficient electronic systems – and provide a platform for exotic new physics.