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Oct 30, 2019

US dark-matter detector heads underground

Posted by in category: particle physics

The main component of the LUX-ZEPLIN dark-matter detector has been installed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota.

The central cryostat for the experiment, which weighs about 2200 kg, was successfully lowered some 1500 m underground last week. Over the coming months, the detector will be wrapped in layers of insulation and then next year be filled with around 10 tonnes of ultra-pure liquid xenon.

LUX-ZEPLIN is expected to begin operation in July 2020 when it will become the largest direct detection dark-matter experiment in the US. It will search for weakly interacting massive particles – a leading dark-matter candidate – with scientists hoping to capture flashes of light that are produced when dark-matter particles interact with the heavy xenon atoms.

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