News Center

What if Dark Matter is Lighter? Report Calls for Small Experiments to Broaden the Hunt

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.

A New Filter to Better Map the Dark Universe

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 ‘Little’ Computer Cluster That Could

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.

Setting a ‘Gold Standard’ for Ultrasensitive Particle Detectors

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.

When Semiconductors Stick Together, Materials Go Quantum

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.

Laser ‘Drill’ Sets a New World Record in Laser-Driven Electron Acceleration

Combining a first laser pulse to heat up and “drill” through a plasma, and another to accelerate electrons to incredibly high energies in just tens of centimeters, scientists have nearly doubled the previous record for laser-driven particle acceleration at Berkeley Lab’s BELLA Center.

Preparing for a New Tool to Study the ‘Glue That Binds Us All’

For several decades, the nuclear science community has been calling for a new type of particle collider to pursue – in the words of one report – “a new experimental quest to study the glue that binds us all.” This glue is responsible for most of the visible universe’s matter and mass. To learn about this glue, scientists are proposing a unique, high-energy collider that smashes accelerated electrons, which carry a negative charge, into charged atomic nuclei or protons, which carry a positive charge.

Award Finalists Demonstrate Improved Nuclear Physics Code for Supercomputing

André Walker-Loud, a staff scientist at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is co-leader of a team that is among the six finalists for the Association of Computing Machinery’s Gordon Bell Prize that will be awarded this month.

Acrylic Tanks Provide Clear Window Into Dark Matter Detection

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 Quantum Leap Toward Expanding the Search for Dark Matter

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.