UK Involvement in Direct Dark Matter Searches

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Physics

Abstract

Future direct dark matter searches will require instruments with improved sensitivity and complementary targets and techniques in order to claim a discovery, and then move to more detailed studies of the particle properties and astrophysical parameters. UK researchers are in an excellent position to participate in the world leading experiments, with significant progress in sensitivity achieved by ZEPLIN-III (liquid xenon target) and EDELWEISS-II (cryogenic germanium), experiments with established UK participation, and with a recent recruitment to the UK bringing a new involvement in DEAP/CLEAN (liquid argon). We anticipate a leading UK role in scale up to a tonne fiducial mass and beyond, probing the majority of the parameter space favoured by the most credible WIMP dark matter models. This proposal focuses on the technical development work necessary to design the EURECA and LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiments, to mitigate technical risks and improving sensitivity. Meeting these goals will also facilitate the positioning of the UK teams for leadership roles in the construction, operation and exploitation of EURECA and LZ.

Planned Impact

The technologies being developed are state-of-the-art in terms of particle detection and identification. The detection of WIMPs requires technology which can also detect fast neutrons and even neutrinos. These are of interest to many security-related issues and some developments in this direction to look for neutron production and coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering could follow on. The subject of dark matter scores highly in the public interest. So far the public have followed avidly all the evidence and efforts to make detections, in spite of no credible evidence for discovery yet, but a convincing positive announcement would re-invigorate the interest and doubtless attract young people into following science as a career. For the national funding agencies, a detection would allow a new planning regime with clear and more targeted goals for future studies.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This was a coordinated R&D award which started out by including separate activities related to LUX-ZEPLIN and to EURECA, two competing next-generation dark matter experiments based on liquid xenon and cryogenic technology, respectively. Early on in this period, and under the auspices of DMUK, the groups involved in this R&D consolidated their effort to work together on LZ.

There were also a number of technical developments, including, specifically at Imperial, our study of spurious electron and photon emission from thin cathodic wires at high field in liquid xenon. This work improved significantly our understanding of high-field phenomena in the noble liquids, allowing us to mitigate a significant and long-standing problem related to high voltage delivery to these detectors.
Exploitation Route This work has allowed us to develop effective chemical and electrochemical treatments for the wire-grid electrodes which will be used in LZ (and by others in similar detectors). It is our expectation that these electrodes will have much higher electrical resilience allowing better overall performance.
Sectors Other

 
Description By scientific community and the media.
Sector Education
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation Brown University
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation Case Western Reserve University
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation Daresbury Laboratory
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Country United States of America 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Country United States of America 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Department Particle Physics Department
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation Stanford University
Department SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Country United States of America 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation Texas A&M University
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of Alabama at Birmingham
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of California, Berkeley
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of California, Davis
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of California, Santa Barbara
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of Coimbra
Department LIP Laboratory of Instrumentation and Experimental Particles Physics
Country Portugal, Portuguese Republic 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of Maryland
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of Rochester
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Department Department of Physics and Astronomy
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of South Dakota
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation University of Wisconsin-Madison
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description LZ Collaboration 
Organisation Yale University
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Collaborator Contribution Management, experimental design, R&D, construction-phase deliverables
Impact Project in design/construction phase, no significant outputs yet
Start Year 2012
 
Description HEP Masterclass 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Attended by some 100 A-Level students and their Physics teachers; included above presentation plus Q&A session and informal discussion.



Continual (national) effort to engage students and continue to improve numbers studying Physics (and HEP) in Higher Education
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015
URL http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/naturalsciences/highenergyphysics/even...
 
Description Imperial News feature (LZ approval) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact "New dark matter detector gets green light" - Imperial News feature on the approval of the LZ experiment by the US funding agencies. This was disseminated to UK media organisations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_18-8-2014-9-47-25
 
Description Imperial News feature - First LUX results (online) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact "New dark matter detector sends first data from gold mine 1.5km underground" - announcement of LUX results in 2013. This was disseminated to UK media organisations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_30-10-2013-15-31-20
 
Description Institute of Physics Astroparticle Physics Newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Article entitled "LUX Draws a Line Under (Some) Light WIMPs" in IOP APP Newsletter
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/ap/news/file_40599.pdf