Large Underground Xenon Detector

The Large Underground Xenon Detector (LUX) is a future two-phase liquid xenon detector of dark matter particles. Dark matter comprises most of the matter in the universe but its natural has yet to be determined. One of the leading candidates of dark matter is the weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP). Two-phase liquid noble element detectors detect WIMPs, by measuring the scintillation and ionization released when WIMPs collide with atoms in the liquid. WIMPs are expected to interact only with nuclei. Most of the events observed in such detectors will be gammas which interact predominantly with the electrons, which result in a different ionization signature than that of the WIMP nuclear collisions. This difference allows such detectors remove much of the background events.

The first iteration of the detector will contain roughly 200 kg of xenon. For comparison, the first competitive two-phase liquid xenon dark matter detector Xenon10 contained only 10 kg of xenon.

References

* [http://cosmology.berkeley.edu/inpac/INPAC_May07/Talks/Tripathi_LUX_INPAC.pdf INPAC meeting paper]
* [http://particleastro.brown.edu/articles/Brown_Daily_Herald_20080204_Prof_Shedding_Light_on_Dark_Matter.pdf Brown University article]


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