Tuesday, February 23, 2016
4:00 pm

High Energy Physics Seminar

LUX and LZ: Dark Matter Searches and Beyond
Carmen Carmona-Benitez, UC Santa Barbara

Liquid Xe detectors have been a game changer in the field of dark matter detection, bringing about astonishing improvements in sensitivity over the past decade.  The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) operates a 370 kg dual-phase xenon TPC at the 4850' level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD.  In 2014, we reported the results of the first WIMP search run, establishing the best sensitivity limits in the literature.  Now, a new set of calibration techniques has again dramatically improved the experiment's sensitivity, setting the most stringent limits on the spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross section in the mass range above $4\,\mathrm{GeV}\,c^{-2}$.  The LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) collaboration has grown out of these experiments with the goal of constructing a next generation dark matter detector at SURF with ~7 tonnes of fully active liquid Xe.  LZ holds the promise to be the ultimate WIMP search experiment, and brings exciting collateral improvements in sensitivity to a wide variety of processes, especially in neutrino physics.  In this talk, I will provide an overview of the LUX and LZ experiments, with a focus on the design features and techniques that put them at the forefront of the field.

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