The multi-institutional effort is co-led by Rick Gaitskell, professor of physics at Brown University, and Tom Shutt, a physicist at Case Western Reserve University.
LUX represents a major step forward in our quest to directly detect the dark matter particles which are likely the dominant form of matter in our Universe, Gaitskell said. After two years of construction and testing of LUX at the surface facility at Sanford Lab (South Dakota), we now eagerly anticipate moving the detector into the new deep underground laboratory area and turning it on in 2012. Results should come very quickly. After only four days of running LUX underground, we expect it to surpass the sensitivity of all previous dark matter direct search experiments. If particle dark matter is present in our galaxy LUX will have a significant opportunity to detect it.
Simon Fiorucci, senior research scientist; Monica Pangilinan, postdoctoral researcher; Jeremy Chapman, graduate student; Carlos Hernandez Faham, graduate student; David Malling, graduate student; James Verbus, graduate student; Andria Smith, Administrator
The Particle Astrophysics Group at Brown was a founding group of the LUX Experiment in 2007. The experiment proposed to build a new detector to look for the direct interaction of dark matter particles in a target of one-third of a ton of liquid Xenon (Xe). The Brown group had significant experience in constructing and operating liquid Xe detectors, having conducted a previous search in 2005-06 using the XENON10 experiment, which was 1/20th the size of LUX. The Brown group has direct responsibility for the LUX photomultiplier tubes and the data acquisition systems that are used to detect the scintillation light that is emitted by the Xe when a particle interaction occurs. The Brown group has a major role in the processing, analysis, and distribution of the data coming out of the detector; Brown is one of the leading institutions providing scientists to operate the LUX experiment at the Sanford Lab.
During the LUX funding stage of the experiment, Brown University provided strong encouragement and seed funding in order to make establishing LUX possible.
Provided by Brown University
This Phys.org Science News Wire page contains a press release issued by an organization mentioned above and is provided to you “as is” with little or no review from Phys.Org staff.