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Organized by: Prof. Lu Lu

An Effective Field Theory Analysis of the LUX WIMP Search
Date: Thursday, December 18th
Time: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Nicole Larsen, Yale University
Abstract: The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment is a dark matter direct detection experiment located 4850 feet underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, SD. During Summer 2013, LUX collected 10065 kg-days of WIMP search data. Ultimately LUX reported a minimum cross-section limit for spin-independent WIMP-nucleon elastic scattering of 7.6 e-46 cm2 for 33-GeV WIMPs, making it the most sensitive direct detection experiment to date. Direct detection experiments like LUX typically only present limits on spin-independent (SI) and spin-dependent (SD) WIMP-nucleon interaction cross sections. However, recent theoretical work has emphasized that in the most general effective field theory formulation there are several additional momentum-dependent and velocity-dependent interactions allowed by basic symmetries that can interfere with or modify the standard SI and SD interactions. Moreover, entirely new nuclear responses analogous to angular-momentum-dependent and spin-orbit couplings in standard weak interaction theory can emerge. Here I provide an overview of the LUX detector and last year’s WIMP search run, discuss the current status of the experiment, and highlight recent efforts toward using the LUX 2013 dataset to set limits on these new momentum- and velocity-dependent operators.
Host: Westerhoff
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