The LUX dark-matter team is here in force for four days of meetings at the Sanford Lab. Nearly 50 members of the LUX Collaboration met at the lab Saturday and Sunday. The LUX Safety Readiness Review is today and tomorrow.
The main LUX event of the week, however, will be first-ever run of the detector with liquid xenon, cooled to minus 100 degrees C (minus 148 F.), in the surface laboratory. ?We?re at T-Zero,? Brown University physicist Rick Gaitskell said.
To win Sanford Lab permission for xenon test, the LUX team had to survive rigorous reviews of equipment, procedures and personnel. ?Procedure walkers,? mostly graduate students and post-doctoral fellow, have analyzed, rehearsed and documented every process and every piece of equipment in the experiment?s complex Piping and Instrument Diagram.
?Everything is ready to go,? Sanford Lab Senior Project Engineer Dave Taylor said this morning. Taylor, along with Experiment Health and Safety Manager Chuck Lichtenwalner and Science Liaison Director Jaret Heise, have given LUX the go ahead for the xenon run, which should begin this week.
Case Western Reserve physicist Tom Shutt, who with Gaitskell leads the LUX Collaboration, credited the LUX graduate students and post docs for the attention to detail needed to win Sanford Lab approval for the xenon run. ?They?re feeling the burden that they?ll be running this beast,? Shutt said.
The LUX Safety Review panel, headed by physicist Yuen-Dat Chan of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is examining procedures to install the LUX detector 4,850 feet underground?at process that could begin as early as March 2012.