Dark Matter Direct Detection – how far we have come and far we have to go (LUX ZEPLIN Experiment)

Note: *Refreshments are served in the SCI Lounge at 3:00PM.*
Speaker: Richard Gaitskell, Brown University

When: February 11, 2020 (Tue), 03:30PM to 04:30PM (add to my calendar)
Location: SCI 109
Hosted by: Zeynep Demiragli
View the poster for this event.

This event is part of the Physics Department Colloquia Series.

We have been searching for the direct interactions of dark matter in sub-terrestrial detectors for over 30 years. We have tested and ruled out many possible particle physics models. I will discuss why we are still looking for these elusive particles.

Also, a wide range of techniques has also been employed in order to establish convincing evidence for these interactions. I have worked on five of them during this period, and I will discuss many of the technological breakthroughs we have made in this quest. In the early-experimental stages of our searches interaction rates of 1000’s per kg of detector per day were explored. Today we are looking for dark matter events that are as rare as 1 per kg per century. We carry this out with detectors that have active masses that are at the tonne-scale, but yet they can be sensitive to particle interactions with energies of less than 1 keV.

I will include a discussion of the LUX ZEPLIN (LZ) Experiment which will have a world-leading sensitivity in the search for WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles). LZ is a 10-tonne active liquid Xe time projection chamber, is in final stages of construction and will be operated underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, SD. I will also look at the future of the field beyond this immediate stage.