Remind me about this event. Notify me if this event changes. Add this event to my personal calendar.


Disque Hall 919, S. 32nd Street and Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104


  • Undergraduate Students
  • Graduate Students
  • Faculty

Physics Colloquium: The LUX Dark Matter Experiment

Thursday, April 16, 2015

3:15 PM-4:15 PM

Kevin O'Sullivan, PhD, Yale University and University of California, Berkeley


Evidence from galactic rotation curves, gravitational lensing, the cosmic microwave background, and other cosmological studies point to the existence of exotic non-luminous matter, referred to as dark matter. In spite of the strong indirect evidence for the existence of dark matter, it's composition remains unknown. One of the most promising putative dark matter candidates are Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) which would be observable through theirs scatters with ordinary matter. Currently several searches for WIMPs see tentative signals which are yet to be confirmed by other experiments. The LUX experiment searches for WIMPs using a large, two-phase Xenon detector operating at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). The first science run of LUX consisted of 85.3 live days with 118 kg of fiducial mass. A pro file-likelihood analysis of the data shows consistency with the background-only hypothesis, allowing a 90% confidence limit to be set on the spin-independent WIMP-nucleon elastic scattering with a minimum upper limit on the cross section of 7.6x10-46 cm2 at a WIMP mass of 33 GeV/c2. In addition, in situ calibrations with a deuterium-deuterium generator are being used to push the detector calibration to lower energies to extend the sensitivity to light dark matter candidates. I will also briefly touch upon the next generation, the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) project, which will have a goal of improving current sensitivity by more than two orders of magnitude.

Contact Information

Prof. Michelle Dolinski