News

2021

July 20, 2021 – LZ and XENON/DARWIN join forces to build the next generation Dark Matter Detector

LZ has joined forces with the XENON/DARWIN collaborations to work together on the design, construction, and operation of a new, single, multi-tonne scale xenon observatory to explore dark matter. The detector will be highly sensitive to a wide range of proposed dark matter particles and their interactions with visible matter. Over the last 20+ years, experiments using liquefied xenon targets have delivered world-leading results in the global quest for direct dark matter detection. This next-generation detector aims to continue the pursuit.

Dark matter makes up 85% of the matter in the Universe, but its nature remains a mystery. The direct identification of the dark matter particle is amongst the highest priorities in science and also one of the most challenging. The primary science goal of the new joint observatory is to reach a sensitivity for detecting dark matter in our galaxy by at least a factor of 10 beyond that of the current generation of detectors.

The current xenon-based experiments XENONnT and LUX-ZEPLIN will start their first science runs in 2021, to lead the race to detect the first signs of new particles and interactions. These experiments employ 5.9 and 7.0 tonnes of liquid xenon for the search, respectively. The LUX-ZEPLIN experiment operates at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in the USA.  The XENONnT experiment is located at the INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory (LNGS) in Italy. DARWIN is the evolution of the XENON program and includes additional groups, focusing on several R&D aspects required for the much larger detector. 

Beyond its unparalleled sensitivity to dark matter, the detector’s large mass and unprecedented low background level will also enable world-leading searches for additional signatures of physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics that would similarly revolutionize our understanding of the universe. In particular, the secondary science goal will be the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay in xenon, shedding light on the nature of the neutrino and the imbalance of matter and antimatter in the universe. The observatory will also perform searches for other rare processes and particles such as axions, hypothetical particles that might be emitted from the Sun. It will also measure neutrinos created in the Sun, the Earth’s atmosphere, and potentially those from Galactic supernovae. 

The new multi-tonne liquid xenon detector will combine the most successful technologies employed in rare-event searches with xenon detectors, including those developed for XENONnT and LUX-ZEPLIN, and from targeted R&D including that supported under DARWIN. 

After a very successful first joint workshop in April 2021, 104 research group leaders from 16 countries have signed a memorandum of understanding on July 6, 2021.  Scientific cooperation has now begun to realize this next-generation rare event observatory.

The scientists that have signed the memorandum of understanding as of July 6, 2021 are:

Daniel Akerib, SLAC National Accelerator Lab, United States
Elena Aprile, Columbia University, United States
Henrique Araujo, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Francesco Arneodo, New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Laura Baudis, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Anwar Bhatti, University of Maryland, United States
Tomasz Biesiadzinski, SLAC National Accelerator Lab, United States
Amos Breskin, Weizmann Institute, Israel
Ethan Brown, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States
Ranny Budnik, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Sergey Burdin, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Carmen Carmona-Benitez, Pennsylvania State University, United States
Auke Colijn, University of Amsterdam / Nikhef, Netherlands
Jan Conrad, Stockholm University, Sweden
Luiz de Viveiros, Pennsylvania State University, United States
Michal Patrick  Decowski, Nikhef and the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
James Dobson, University College London, United Kingdom
Guido Drexlin, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
Klaus Eitel, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
Alfredo Davide Ferella, University of L’Aquila and INFN-LNGS, Italy
Peter Fischer, Heidelberg University, Germany
Henning Flaecher, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Richard Gaitskell, Brown University, United States
Michelle Galloway, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Chamkaur Ghag, University College London, United Kingdom
Luca Grandi, The University of Chicago, United States
Carter Hall, University of Maryland, United States
Stephanie Hansmann-Menzemer, Universität Heidelberg, Germany
Scott Hertel, U. Massachusetts, Amherst, United States
Markus Horn, Sanford Underground Research Facility, United States
Michele Iacovacci, Università di Napoli “Federico II” and INFN-Napoli, Italy
Christina Ignarra, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, United States
Yoshitaka Itow, ISEE/KMI Nagoya University, Japan
Asher Kaboth, Royal Holloway, United Kingdom
Alvine Kamaha, University at Albany, SUNY, United States
Yeongduk Kim, Institute for Basic Science, South Korea
Hans Kraus, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Lawrence Krauss, Origins Project Foundation, United States
Vitaly Kudryavtsev, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Hagar Landsman, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Rafael Lang, Purdue University, United States
Jaison Lee, Institute for Basic Science, Korea
Douglas Leonard, IBS Center for Underground Physics, South Korea
Cecilia Levy, UAlbany SUNY, United States
Manfred Lindner, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Germany
Hugh Lippincott, UCSB, United States
Isabel Lopes, Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas (LIP), Portugal
Wolfgang Lorenzon, University of Michigan, United States
Steffen Luitz, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, United States
Carla Macolino, Università degli studi dell’Aquila and INFN-LNGS, Italy
Joern Mahlstedt, Stockholm University, Sweden
Aaron Manalaysay, United States
Teresa Marrodán Undagoitia, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg, Germany
Kai Martens, Kavli IPMU, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Julien Masbou, Subatech, France
José Matias-Lopes, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Daniel McKinsey, University of California, Berkeley, United States
Kentaro Miuchi, Kobe University, Japan
Maria Elena Monzani, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, United States
Brianna Mount, Black Hills State University, United States
Alexander Murphy, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Harry Nelson, UCSB, United States
Dave Newbold, STFC/Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, United Kingdom
Francisco Neves, LIP, Portugal
Kaixuan Ni, University of California San Diego, United States
Uwe Oberlack, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
Igor Ostrovskiy, University of Alabama, United States
Kimberly Palladino, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Mila Pandurovic, Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Serbia
Bjoern Penning, University of Michigan, United States
Guillaume Plante, Columbia University, United States
Tina Rosalia Pollmann, Nikhef/UvA, Netherlands
Gabriella Sartorelli, Bologna University and INFN-Bologna, Italy
Richard Schnee, South Dakota Mines, United States
Hans-Christian Schultz-Coulon, Heidelberg University, Kirchhoff-Institut für Physik, Germany
Marc Schumann, University of Freiburg, Germany
Luca Scotto Lavina, LPNHE, France
Marco Selvi, INFN-Bologna, Italy
Petr Shagin, Rice University, United States
Tom Shutt, SLAC, United States
Hardy Simgen, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Germany
Vladimir Solovov, LIP-Coimbra, Portugal
Peter Sorensen, United States
Ion Stancu, University of Alabama, United States
Tim Sumner, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Matthew Szydagis, UAlbany SUNY, United States
Dominique Thers, Subatech/In2p3-CNRS, France
Daniel Tovey, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Gian Carlo Trinchero, INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico and INFN-Torino, Italy
Roberto Trotta, Imperial College London and SISSA, United Kingdom/Italy 
Christopher Tunnell, Rice University, United States
Belina von Krosigk, Universität Hamburg, Germany
Antonin Vacheret, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Kathrin Valerius, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
Juijen (Ryan) Wang, University of Alabama, United States
Christian Weinheimer, University of Münster, Germany
Frank Wolfs, University of Rochester, United States
Michael Wurm, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
Jingke Xu, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, United States
Masaki Yamashita, Kavli IPMU The University of Tokyo, Japan
Liang Yang, University of California San Diego, United States
Minfang Yeh, Brookhaven National Laboratory, United States
Guido Zavattini, University of Ferrara and INFN-Ferrara, Italy
Kai Zuber, TU Dresden, Germany

2020

May 26, 2020 – LBNL News Center – Site of LUX-ZEPLIN Dark Matter Search Project Carefully Ramps up Science Work

January 2, 2020 – Science (AAAS) – The science stories likely to make headlines in 2020

2019

October 30, 2019 – Forbes – Giant New Instrument Will Search For Real Subatomic Ghosts

October 29, 2019 – LBNL – Dark Matter Experiment’s Central Component Takes a Deep Dive – Nearly a Mile Underground

September 23, 2019 – Sanford Underground Research Facility – LUX-ZEPLIN: the new experiment hoping to detect dark matter

September 9, 2019 –  Sanford Underground Research Facility – The nuts and bolts of experimental science

August 19, 2019 – Sanford Underground Research Facility – The experimental art of particle physics

August 6, 2019 – SDPB Radio – Researchers Complete Heart of Dark Matter Detector in Lead

July 18, 2019 – SLAC – A day in the life of a dark matter data wrangler

July 16, 2019 – Interactions.org – Some Assembly Required: Scientists Piece Together the Largest U.S-Based Dark Matter Experiment

July 11, 2019 – Keloland TV (video) – Sanford Underground Research Facility boosting South Dakota’s future

June 20, 2019 – SLAC – SLAC sends off woven grids for LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter detector

June 11, 2019 – Brandeis Now – Deep underground, Brandeis scientists mine for dark matter

2018

December 17, 2018 – Interactions.org – Massive New Dark Matter Detector Gets Its ‘Eyes’

October 16, 2018 – Interactions.org – Acrylic Tanks Provide Clear Window Into Dark Matter Detection

July 17, 2018 – Science & Technology Facilities Council – UK delivers super-cool kit to USA for Next-Generation Dark Matter Experiment

July 17, 2018 – LBNL News Center – A Supercool Component for a Next-Generation Dark Matter Experiment

February 2, 2018 – Leo A Daly – Leo A Daly designs dark-matter lab a mile underground in South Dakota

February 2, 2018 – SSI Blog (UK) – Developing a database to handle dark matter experiment data

January 29, 2018 – SURF news – Renovations begin on Davis Cavern

January 11, 2018 – Science – How Dark Matter Physicists Score Deals on Liquid Xenon

2017

December 18, 2017 – Black Hills Pioneer – Talking xenon and other science lab staples

November 20, 2017 – SURF news – LZ acrylic tanks face tight squeeze underground

October 17, 2017 – CBS news – South Dakota town revitalized by underground science lab

July 10, 2017 – Daily Herald – Fermilab Scientist: Why I search for dark matter

June 28, 2017 – Berkeley Lab News Center – Dark Matter Day is Approaching…

March 9, 2017 – Univ Wisconsin-Madison – Dark matter detection receives 10-ton upgrade

February 13, 2017 – Symmetry magazine- LZ dark matter detector on fast track

February 13, 2017 – Berkeley Lab News Center – Next-Gen Dark Matter Detector in a Race to Finish Line

2016

September 27, 2016 – Physics World – Flash Physics: LUX-ZEPLIN goes ahead

September 26, 2016 – Berkeley Lab News Center – Construction of World’s Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector Moves Forward

June 20, 2016 – Rapid City Journal – Xenon central to next-gen dark matter experiment

June 1, 2016 – SLAC – Prototype of LUZ-ZEPLIN Dark Matter Detector Tested at SLAC

2015

October 13, 2015 – Symmetry magazine – Xenon, xenon everywhere

August 10, 2015 – Imperial College London news – The hunt for the universe’s missing matter

May 20, 2015 – SLAC Communications – SLAC Gears Up for Dark Matter Hunt with LUX-ZEPLIN

March 23, 2015 – Today at Berkeley Lab – Dark Matter Experiment Completes First Reviews

2014

Fall 2014 –  Kavli Foundation – New Dark Matter Experiments Prepare to Hunt for the Unknown

July 19, 2014 – Rapid City Journal –  Sanford Lab pays off for state as researchers dig deeper

July 16, 2014 – Science Magazine – Two big dark matter experiments gain U.S. support

July 16, 2014 – Physics.org – Next-Generation Dark Matter Experiments Get the Green Light

July 16, 2014 – EarthSky – Three next-generation dark matter experiments get a green light

July 16, 2014 – ScienceNews – Dark matter hunters may get three new experiments”

July 15, 2014 – Rapid City Journal – DOE, NSF to fund next-generation experiment at Sanford Lab

July 15, 2014 – Black Hills Pioneer – Massive dark matter experiment receives funding

July 15, 2014 – Physics World –  Dark-matter searches get US government approval

July 2014 – Symmetry Magazine – US reveals its next generation of dark matter experiments