The LZ Dark Matter Search Experiment
The LUX-ZEPLIN collaboration (LZ) brings together the European ZEPLIN programme that operated a series of detectors at Boulby Mine, UK, with the LUX team to construct a multi-tonne liquid xenon time projection chamber.
The next-generation LZ experiment will consist of a 7-ton liquid xenon target and an active system for suppressing the rate of non-WIMP signals known as background events, both located inside the same water – tank shield used by LUX. This significant increase in detection capability will increase the sensitivity to WIMPs by more than a hundred times. This will allow the study of WIMP properties if a current generation experiment such as LUX yields positive results, or the capbility to deliver the first statistically significant and definitive discovery of Dark Matter.
UK groups are leading a number of key areas in the LZ project. At UCL we co-lead the important Backgrounds and Screening Work Package, responsible for ensuring the experiment is free from radiactive impurities that can lessen the sensitivity of the experiment, and for characterising backgrounds to potential dark matter signal.