Title: Direct Dark Matter Searches using Liquid Xenon: Latest Results from LUX and Prospects for LZ


The LUX (Large Underground Xenon) experiment is designed for the direct detection of dark matter particles via their collisions with xenon nuclei. This two-phase xenon time-projection chamber, operating at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (Lead, South Dakota), was cooled and filled in February 2013. Results will be presented from the first dark matter search data set, taken during the period April to August 2013 and corresponding to 85.3 live-days of data with a fiducial mass of 118 kg. The experiment exhibited a sensitivity to spin-independent WIMP-nucleon elastic scattering with a minimum upper limit on the cross section of 7.6 x 10^-46 cm^2 at a WIMP mass of 33 GeV/c^2. The LUX results are inconsistent with the low-mass WIMP signal interpretations of data from several recent direct detection experiments. This talk will provide an overview of the LUX experiment, focusing in the recent science results. I will also describe the next-generation LZ detector, planned to have an active liquid xenon mass of 7000 kg.