New Dark Matter Experiments Prepare to Hunt the Unknown
Three astrophysicists – Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, Harry Nelson and Gray Rybka – discuss preparations for three recently funded dark matter experiments, and the likelihood that one of them will strike gold.
THIS MONTH, THREE NEW EXPERIMENTS take significant steps in the hunt for dark matter, the elusive substance that appears to make up more than a quarter of the universe, but interacts very rarely with the matter that makes up our world. The experiments – the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment Gen 2, LUX-ZEPLIN and the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search at SNOLAB – learned in July that each would receive much needed funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. National Science Foundation. Each of these “second-generation” experiments will be at least 10 times more sensitive than today’s dark matter detectors, increasing the likelihood that they will see the small, rare interactions between dark matter and the regular matter we all interact with every day.
As the experimental plans start to coalesce and detector equipment starts to arrive for ADMX Gen2, LZ and SuperCDMS SNOLAB, three scientists discuss the likelihood that these projects will at long last discover dark matter. The participants:
- ENECTALI FIGUEROA-FELICIANO - is a member of the SuperCDMS collaboration and an associate professor of physics at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.
- HARRY NELSON - is the science lead for the LUX-ZEPLIN experiment and is a professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
- GRAY RYBKA - leads the ADMX Gen 2 experiment as a co-spokesperson and is a research assistant professor of physics at the University of Washington.
An edited transcript of their roundtable discussion is available here.
Be sure to mark your calendars for November 20 --
On November 20 from 12:00pm - 12:30pm PST (3:00pm - 3:30pm EST), Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, Harry Nelson and Gray Rybka will answer your questions about the next generation of dark matter experiments. Submit your questions ahead of and during the webcast by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the hashtag #KavliLive on Twitter or Google+.