Dark Matter

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.

Inside LUX, the world's most sensitive dark matter detector

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. 

Here are more facts about LZ and Dark Matter:

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. 

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).

NamePositionContact detailsLocationPhoto
Academic staff
Yanyan GaoChancellors Fellow
Photo of Yanyan Gao
Alex MurphyProfessor of Nuclear & Particle Astrophysics
Photo of Alex Murphy
Sally ShawLecturer in Experimental Particle Physics
Andrzej SzelcRoyal Society University Research Fellow
Research staff
XinRan LiuSTFC Research Fellow
Photo of XinRan Liu
Research postgraduates
Ellie BishopPostgraduate Student
Anh NguyenPostgraduate Student
Harkirat Singh RiyatPostgraduate Student