Dark Matter searches with LZ – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Dark Matter searches with LZ

Ethan Flosky

Ethan Flosky

Pronouns: he/him

Research Mentor(s): Bjoern Penning, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: College of Literature, Science, and the Arts,
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 5 (3pm-3:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 15
Presenter: 4

Event Link


In the universe, the orbital mechanics of stellar objects is explained by their gravity and hence their mass. For example, our understanding of gravity tells us that when an object orbits an amount of matter gets farther away from that mass, the object’s orbital velocity will decrease. Using optical observations of galaxies we observe that their matter is concentrated at their center. However, we measure the velocity of stars at the fringe of galaxies, their velocities are much faster than what we would expect. To explain this observation, many scientists believe that some sort of invisible matter exists that causes these observations. It is known as Dark Matter. The LUX Zeplin team is currently building a detector one mile underground to discover if this matter exists. Later in 2021, the LZ detector will finally go online and start to collect data. It is expected that if Dark Matter exists, it is a particle that would have a mass of 1 GeV or thousands of GeV heavier. The team hopes that the detector will be able to observe particle interactions, among them rare dark matter interactions, and be able to analyze them to search for these Dark Matter events. Then LZ physicists will analyze this data and will come to a conclusion on dark matter’s existence. If found, this new type of matter will help explain orbital velocity observations and may even deepen our understanding about the development of the universe.

Authors: Ethan Flosky, Bjoern Penning
Research Method: Computer Programming

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