The DarkLight Experiment

Charles Epstein, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The DarkLight experiment aims to search for a new particle: a "dark photon." A dark photon would mediate forces between particles of dark matter in an analogous fashion to that of the photon in the Standard Model. However, unlike a standard photon, a dark photon would have mass. If it were to mix with Standard Model photons, it could explain a variety of physical anomalies and could be detectable in the lab. DarkLight aims to search for such a dark photon by studying electron-proton collisions at Jefferson Lab's Energy-Recovering Linear Accelerator. By directing this megawatt electron beam onto a dense hydrogen gas target and studying the process in which an additional electron-positron pair is created, a dark photon could be observed. While this is currently a topic receiving much attention, DarkLight aims to approach the measurement in a novel way. The first phase of DarkLight is being prepared to address a number of unique technical challenges and to make new, precise measurements of related Standard Model physics.

Abstract Author(s): Charles Epstein, for the DarkLight Collaboration