CIS Computing & Information Services

LUX Dark Matter Experiment

The LUX Dark Matter Experiment is a ⅓ tonne liquid xenon dual phase TPC located 1 mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, SD. LUX is currently the most sensitive dark matter direct detection experiment in the world. Looking for the very rare dark matter particle (“WIMP”) interactions requires the detector to be the quietest place in the world. It also requires the response of the detector to signals and backgrounds to be very well understood. LUX has pioneered powerful new calibration techniques for both nuclear recoils and electron recoils (tritium and 127Xe) that lead the field in both physics reach and reduction of systematic uncertainties.

Time lapse video of construction

Rick Gaitskell’s Brown Particle Astrophysics Group, working with others in the LUX Collaboration, developed and implemented a custom, fully automated data processing pipeline used to process >600 GB/day of raw waveform data produced by the LUX experiment. All production LUX data to date is transferred directly to Brown and has been processed in near real-time on the Oscar cluster hosted by the Center for Computation and Visualization at Brown University. The raw waveform data and reduced output are stored on a >0.5 PB RAID array for efficient collaboration wide distribution using Brown’s 10 Gbit/s Internet2 link.

A 300 live-day WIMP search run of the experiment is currently underway, which is expected to extend sensitivity by at least a factor 5 beyond currently reported LUX limits. All production processing of LUX waveforms for the longer 300 live-day WIMP search run will continue to take place on the Oscar cluster at Brown’s CCV.