Today at Berkeley Lab

Dark Matter Experiment Completes First Reviews

1280px-1e0657_scaleRecently, the Berkeley-Lab managed LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) dark matter experiment completed its initial Critical Decision-1 review (CD-1) where the project’s technical design, preliminary timelines, and budget range were reviewed by the Department of Energy’s Office of Project Assessment.

The proposed $50M scale experiment also completed a CD-3a, which would provide approval for the acquisition of long-lead equipment to be purchased in the early stages of the project. The equipment, in this casephotomultiplier tubes, is well specified even though the detector design isn’t yet finalized, says Bill Edwards, LZ project manager and engineer in the Physics Division. “This procurement will help keep us on schedule to start collecting data in 2019,” he says.

LZ, will be based at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota and will replace the current dark matter experiment there, the Large Underground Xenon detector, or LUX. LZ will look for evidence of dark matter by detecting so-called WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, which theorists believe are responsible dark matter.

“By making it through this first review, LZ is now officially on its way,” says Edwards. “It’s a strong project with a great team and collaboration. We all look forward to building this experiment over the next five years.”