University of Maryland
4:30 PM Monday, March 6, 2023
Talk Recording

Carter Hall
Department of Physics, University of Maryland

Prospecting for dark matter in the Black Hills of Dakota

Dark matter outweighs ordinary matter in the cosmos by about a factor of five, yet its fundamental constituents remain unknown to us. At the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, we have recently begun a new search for exotic WIMP particles that might comprise the dark matter. Besides providing an explanation for the large scale structure of the universe, an observation of WIMPs would open a window on high energy physics beyond the standard model. Our experiment is called LZ (LUX-ZEPLIN), and it now joins the Panda-X and XenonNT experiments at the frontier of this field. The experiment is working well and is expected to explore about one order of magnitude in WIMP scattering cross sections in the next few years. LZ will also have sensitivity to neutrinoless double beta decay, a process which can reveal the basic nature of neutrino mass. We will review the status of these new physics searches and discuss what may lie ahead in the next decade.