Highlights Archive

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LUX phototube assembly

LUX Phototube Assembly

The installation of photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) for the LUX dark matter experiment.  The PMT array is held together by a copper frame of extreme radiopurity, and great care must be taken during construction to avoid contamination of the experiment with dust or even the natural radon typical of the air we breath.

Sanford Experimental Hall

Sanford Underground Laboratory

An experiment hall nearly one mile underground at Sanford Underground Laboratory, being refurbished for the LUX and LZ experiments. Great depths are required to reduce background radiation from cosmic rays and make sensitive neutrino and dark matter searches possible.

LUX central detector

LUX Dark Matter Detector

A view inside the LUX dark matter detector during construction.  At the center is an array of highly-sensitive photomultiplier tubes (PMTs).  During operation, this detector volume contains liquified xenon gas of extreme purity. UMass physics professor Scott Hertel contributes to this experiment, which took data from 2013 through 2016.

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Asymmetric Evolution

Relaxing Under Tension

A slender filament such as a hair from your head or a blade of grass, easily buckles into a folded shape, but when you let it go, it springs back into its original shape.  This image, taken by graduate student Gangaprasath and postdoc Joel Marthelot In the Menon lab, shows a soft slender filament made of silicone rubber, floating on a liquid surface to slow down the process of straightening out.

crumple cover

Inside a crumpled ball

The crumpling or crushing of paper, aluminum foil, or even a car fender is an everyday occurrence that is surprisingly rich in new physical and materials principles. UMass graduate student Dominique Cambou used X-ray microtomography experiments on foils crushed into a ball to understand their detailed 3D structure.