The direct detection of Dark Matter is one of the key scientific goals of modern physics. The Edinburgh Group, together with its UK and international colleagues, are members of the presently world-leading Large Underground Xenon (LUX) project, and of the future LUX-ZEPLIN project.
The evidence for the existence of dark matter arises from a large number of astrophysical studies, including galactic rotation curves, analysis of the cosmic microwave background, gravitational lensing, and numerical simulations of large scale structure, to name but a few. These consistently suggest that 'normal' baryonic matter accounts for only about 20% of the total matter in the Universe. The rest - so far invisible to us - is what has become known as dark matter. What is it? If, like all other matter, it is formed of particles, then those particles cannot be the same as any of the particles in the Standard Model of particle physics. Hence, the search for dark matter is not only a search for the missing mass of the Universe, but also a possible key to new fundamental physics beyond our present knowledge!
Direct searches for dark matter, such as LUX and LZ, aim to detect and characterise these particles for the first time. We built ultra-sensitive detectors and operate them deep underground.
In Edinburgh, we specialise in simulations of the experiments, analysis of rare-event search data, and low-background physics. You can read more about recent, current and future projects below.
- Axion searches in LUX and LZ
- LZ backgrounds simulations
- LZ cleanliness studies
- The ZEPLIN-III Veto
- Cosmic ray muon induced neutrons
Previous students/staff and where they are now
PhD project opportunities in Dark Matter
People in Dark Matter
Telephone numbers in the list below are shown as UK numbers. Callers from outside the UK should remove the leading zero and use the UK country code (+44).
|Alex Murphy||Professor of Nuclear & Particle Astrophysics|
amurphy [at] ph.ed.ac.uk
|Thomas Davison||Postgraduate Student|
s0700387 [at] sms.ed.ac.uk
|Maria Francesca Marzioni||Postgraduate Student|
s1475685 [at] sms.ed.ac.uk
|Athoy Nilima||Postgraduate Student|
athoynilima [at] gmail.com