Dark Matter Research

Dark Matter Searches at Sheffield

The Dark Matter group here in Sheffield is concerned with the search for Dark Matter particles through our involvement in experiments at the Boulby Underground Laboratory and R&D with US and European collaborators.

Our overall objective is the direct observation and characterization of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) which are the prime candidate for the majority of non-luminous matter in our Galaxy.

For some general information about dark matter and WIMP searches, please see the following:

WIMP Search Experiments

For many years our main dark matter activity has been undertaken with experiments built and run at Boulby Mine, part of the Institute of Underground Science (IUS) at Sheffield. Recently we have also joined the larger-scale projects with experiments running or to be run in France and the USA. This includes the following completed, running and planned experiments:

NaIAD (completed)
Sodium Iodide (NaI) crystal scintillator. This experiment has obtained the world-best limit on the spin-dependent WIMP-proton cross-section at that time.
ZEPLIN I (completed)
Single phase liquid xenon scintillator.
ZEPLIN II (completed)
Two-phase liquid xenon scintillator. The first two-phase LXe detector to achieve significant world-leading sensitivity.
DRIFT I (completed)
A first stage directional low pressure gas TPC.
A second stage directional low pressure gas TPC (on-going). The world's only direction sensitive WIMP detector operating underground.
A cryogenic dark matter experiment with germanium detectors at LSM (France).
A two-phase xenon detector at SURF (SD, USA).

WIMP Search R&D

Research and Development
Including MICROMEGAS, noble liquids, low background development and simulations projects
Framework 7
New dark matter studies in the frame of EU FP7 projects that follow from ILIAS

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