Projected WIMP sensitivity of the LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter experiment

LUX-ZEPLIN Collaboration

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206 Scopus citations


LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) is a next-generation dark matter direct detection experiment that will operate 4850 feet underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota, USA. Using a two-phase xenon detector with an active mass of 7 tonnes, LZ will search primarily for low-energy interactions with weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), which are hypothesized to make up the dark matter in our galactic halo. In this paper, the projected WIMP sensitivity of LZ is presented based on the latest background estimates and simulations of the detector. For a 1000 live day run using a 5.6-tonne fiducial mass, LZ is projected to exclude at 90% confidence level spin-independent WIMP-nucleon cross sections above 1.4×10-48 cm2 for a 40 GeV/c2 mass WIMP. Additionally, a 5σ discovery potential is projected, reaching cross sections below the exclusion limits of recent experiments. For spin-dependent WIMP-neutron(-proton) scattering, a sensitivity of 2.3×10-43 cm2 (7.1×10-42 cm2) for a 40 GeV/c2 mass WIMP is expected. With underground installation well underway, LZ is on track for commissioning at SURF in 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052002
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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