DarkLight: A Search for Dark Forces

Charles Epstein, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Photo of Charles Epstein

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 a fashion analogous 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 the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility'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. DarkLight aims to make use of a variety of new accelerator and detector technologies to make this measurement. In the first phase of DarkLight, under preparation, we will address some of these unique technical challenges and will make new, precise measurements of related Standard Model physics, such as radiative electron-electron scattering.

Abstract Author(s): C.Epstein with the DarkLight collaboration