The Yates Shaft headframe, left, behind the Yates Administration Building.

The LZ dark matter experiment will operate at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota. SURF is located at the former Homestake gold mine and has laboratory spaces nearly a mile underground. SURF hosts a number of scientific experiments that require underground operation in order to reduce the cosmic ray background. 

Current and future experiments at Sanford Lab (SURF)

LZ will be installed in the Davis Laboratory 4,850 ft underground (nearly a mile). This is the same site that housed Ray Davis’ Nobel Prize-winning neutrino experiment. The laboratory was occupied by the LUX experiment until 2016.

Davis Laboratory

Physicists working in the Davis Laboratory nearly a mile underground at SURF during the commissioning of the LUX detector. LZ will be housed in this same space.

LZ will be housed in an 8 meter diameter by 6 meter high water shield containing 70,000 gallons of purified water. The water shield reduces external background signals to the detector, in particular neutrons and gammas. The water shield will also be instrumented with photomultiplier tubes to detect the Čerenkov radiation from cosmic muons.

The LZ water shield, currently housing the LUX experiment

The LZ water shield, currently housing the LUX experiment