The nature and origin of dark matter are among the most compelling mysteries of contemporary science. There is strong evidence for dark matter from its role in shaping the galaxies and galaxy clusters that we observe in the universe. Still, for over three decades, physicists have been trying to detect the dark matter particles themselves with little success.
LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) is a dark matter direct detection experiment located at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota. The LZ detector consists of a dual-phase xenon Time Projection Chamber with an active volume of 7 tonnes, shielded by an active liquid xenon skin region, an active gadolinium-loaded liquid scintillator veto, and an ultrapure water veto.
The LZ collaboration recently published the results for its first search for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) with an exposure of 60 live days using a fiducial mass of 5.5 tonnes. The detector achieved world-record sensitivity to a vast range of dark matter particles, setting new limits on spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross-sections for WIMP masses above 9 GeV.
This talk will give an overview of the LZ detector, a description of the first results, and a brief look at the broad dark matter and neutrino science program that is now accessible with the experiment.
Speakers: Maria Elena Monzani, Tomasz Biesiadzinsky, and Alden Fan, SLAC
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