Together with Tom Shutt, Dan works on the LUX and LZ dark matter experiments to search for dark matter in the form of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, or WIMPs. The detectors use liquid xenon as a target medium in a time projection chamber, or TPC. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment is currently operating a 250-kg target in the former Homestake gold mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Preparations are underway at SLAC to design and build the 7-ton successor, known as LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ). The group is involved in many aspects of data analysis, detector design, xenon purification, control andreadout systems, and detector performance studies.
Research interests:Dan Akerib joined the department in 2014 with a courtesy appointment, in conjunction with a full-time appointment to the Particle Physics & Astrophysics faculty at SLAC. He has searched for WIMP dark matter particles since the early 1990s, first with the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search and more recently with the LUX and LUX-ZEPLIN projects. His current interests are in extending the sensitivity to dark matter through expanding and improving time projection chambers that use liquid xenon as a target medium. Together with Tom Shutt, he has led the establishment of a Liquid Nobles Test Platform at SLAC. The group specializes in detector development, xenon purification, and simulations, and has a broad range of opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to participate in hardware and software development, as well as data analysis.
Career History: - AB 1984, University of Chicago - Ph.D. 1990 Princeton University - Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1990 - 1992 - Center Fellow, Center for Particle Astrophysics, UC Berkeley 1993 - 1996 - Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 1995-2001 - Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 2001-2004 - Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 2004-2014 - Chair, Case Western Reserve University, 2007-2010 - Professor, Particle Physics & Astrophysics, SLAC 2014 - present