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Lepton Quark Studies (LQS)

The Lepton Quark Studies (LQS) group is committed to several experiments in particle physics: a dark matter search, a high-energy proton-proton collider experiment, and a future electron-positron collider experiment.

This group is developing a new type of detector Dark Matter Time-Projection Chamber (DMTPC). This detector will measure the direction from which the wind of dark matter blows on Earth. Astrophysical observation indicates that Earth moves relative to the dark matter halo of Milky Way, which makes the wind of the dark matter blow from the direction of Cygnus. From the perspective of observers on Earth, this direction modulates daily as Earth rotates. The daily modulation is the smoking-gun signature of the dark matter and observing it will significantly helps researchers to determine the identity of the dark matter.

The MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Science has been playing a leading role in the ATLAS Muon System for over fifteen years since the beginning of its design. This leadership currently resides in the LQS group. The ATLAS detector is one of two multipurpose particle detectors at Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. The ATLAS detector is the largest collider detector ever constructed and its Muon System is the outermost and largest sub-component. A significant fraction of the Muon System was constructed here in Massachusetts and shipped to Europe. Researchers in the LQS group take responsibility for the operation of the Muon System.

Historically, the LQS group has demonstrated its strength in many electron-positron collider experiments. This group conducts detector R&D for the International Linear Collider (ILC). The ILC is a future electron-positron collider at the same energy range as the LHC but will provide a cleaner environment suited for precise measurements. Until recently, this group participated in the BaBar experiment at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, leading to the first observation of D mixing. Beforehand, the group studied polarized Z bosons at the SLD experiment, which also took place at SLAC, and the production of charmed mesons at the Beijing Spectrometer (BES) at Beijing Electron Positron Collider (BEPC) in Beijing, China.

- Web description provided by Tai Sakuma



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