Scientific Seminars

[Astro] WIMP Hunting in the Black Hills: Status of the LZ Dark Matter Experiment

by Dr Sally Shaw (UC Santa Barbara)


Abstract: The fundamental nature of our universe is still mostly unknown: 84% of the matter in the universe is dark and qualitatively different to everything we understand via the Standard Model. Terrestrial experiments devoted to detecting interactions of dark matter particles have not yet seen a convincing signal, but we may be on the cusp of discovery. The LUX-ZEPLIN experiment (LZ) will be the largest dark matter detector of its kind, consisting of a 7T liquid xenon target, an 2T active skin veto and a 17T gadolinium-loaded liquid scintillator neutron veto. With science data taking beginning this year, LZ will probe theoretically well-motivated regions of dark matter phase space to reach areas currently unexplored; the predicted spin-independent cross section is 1.4x10-48cm2 for a 40 GeV/c2 mass WIMP. I will give an overview of the LZ experiment and its current status.