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HEP: Dark Matter Searches with LUX and LZ

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Carmen Carmona, University of California, Santa Barbara
03 February 2016 from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
339 Davey Laboratory
Contact Name
Miguel Mostafa
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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) experiment 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 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, limited by neutrino-induced “background”.  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.