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.