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With major contributions from a Brown team, massive dark matter detector is up and running

July 8, 2022

The detector's "eyes": Powerful light sensors assembled at Brown into two large arrays will keep watch on the LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter detector, looking for the tell-tale flashes of light that indicate interaction of a dark matter particle inside the detector. Photo by Nick Dentamaro.

Deep below the Black Hills of South Dakota in the Sanford Underground Research Facility, an innovative and uniquely sensitive dark matter detector — the LUX-ZEPLIN experiment, led by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab — has passed a check-out phase of startup operations and delivered its first results.

In a study published on Thursday, July 7, the researchers behind the experiment report that with its initial run, LZ is already the world’s most sensitive detector of dark matter — the elusive particles thought to account for a majority of matter in the universe. Read about graduate student and alum contributions from Will Taylor '22 PhD and current students Jihyeun Bang and Austin Vaitkus.