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Colloquium | Physics Division

Latest Results from the LUX Dark Matter Experiment

PHY Colloquium

Abstract: The LUX (Large Underground Xenon) experiment was a dual-phase (liquid/gas) xenon time projection chamber with an active mass of 250 kg that operated at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) from 2013 until 2016. Its main objective was to look for evidence of galactic dark matter in the form of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs). During the full 427 live-day run, it excluded WIMP-nucleon spin-independent cross sections above 1.1×1046 cm2 (90% confidence level) at a WIMP mass of 50 GeV/c2. Because of its low radioactivity and excellent sensitivity, LUX is able to look for other dark matter particle candidates and rare event signals.

In this presentation, we will report the most recent results from several new data analyses, such as searches for spin-dependent dark matter interactions, axion and axion-like particle interactions, and low-mass dark matter interactions, as well as searches for annual and diurnal rate modulation in the data. We will also present recent calibration studies of the ionization and scintillation response of liquid xenon, such as pulse shape discrimination, electronic recoil calibrations using 83mKr, 127Xe, and 14C, and nuclear recoil calibration using a pulsed D-D neutron generator. These calibrations are essential to the development of the next generation of dark matter detectors.