SLAC Public Lecture Series
A Sparkle in the Dark: The Outlandish Quest for Dark Matter
The nature and origin of dark matter are among the most compelling mysteries of contemporary science. There is strong evidence for dark matter from its role in shaping the galaxies and galaxy clusters that we observe in the universe. Still, for over three decades, physicists have been trying to detect the dark matter particles themselves with little success. This talk will describe the next stage in that search, the LZ detector. LZ is an instrument that is superlative in many ways. It consists of 10 tons of liquified xenon gas, maintained at almost atomic purity and stored in a refrigerated titanium cylinder a mile underground in a former gold mine in Lead, South Dakota. The talk will present some of the challenges in constructing and operating this large-scale underground experiment and the prospects LZ presents for finally discovering the dark matter particle.