Deep below the Black Hills of South Dakota in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), sits an innovative and uniquely sensitive dark matter detector. The LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiment, as it is called, has passed a check-out phase of startup operations and delivered first results.
“We are now out of the starting gate,” said Harry Nelson, a UC Santa Barbara professor of physics and spokesperson of LZ from 2014-2017. “LZ is a far more powerful detector of dark matter than any ever built before, and is uniquely capable of making a discovery in the next few years.”
In a paper posted on the experiment’s website, researchers report that with the initial run, LZ is already the world’s most sensitive dark matter detector. And, added current LZ Spokesperson Hugh Lippincott, also of UCSB, “We plan to collect about 20 times more data in the coming years, so we’re only getting started. There’s a lot of science to do, and it’s very exciting!”