HEP Seminar: First results from the LUX Dark Matter Experiment

Dr Alexander Murphy, The University of Edinburgh

Friday 07 February 2014, 1300-1400
Frankland Colloquium Room

Discovery of the nature of dark matter is recognized as one of the greatest challenges in contemporary science.

The most compelling candidate for dark matter is the Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) that arises naturally

in several models of physics beyond the Standard Model. The discovery of galactic WIMPs would therefore enlighten

two of the outstanding problems of modern physics - the matter composition of the Universe and the

true description of fundamental particles and interactions.

The worldwide race towards direct detection has been dramatically accelerated by remarkable progress of liquid xenon

time projection chambers. They have shifted the scale of target mass by orders of magnitude whilst simultaneously

reducing backgrounds to unprecedentedly low levels.The most advanced of these projects is the Large

Underground Xenon (LUX) detector, operated in the Davis Cavern of the SURF laboratory, USA.

The project has just completed its first run, releasing world-leading results that challenge hints of low-mass WIMPs

claimed at other experiments. The project, its results, and prospects for the future, both with LUX and a

larger successor experiment, LZ, will be presented.