Henrique Araujo is an experimental astroparticle physicist with the High Energy Physics group at Imperial. His work focuses on the direct detection of dark matter, the elusive substance thought to constitute most of the mass in the universe. Large physics experiments located deep underground attempt to detect the very faint and rare collisions of the mysterious dark matter particles with ordinary atoms at the core of very sensitive radiation detectors.
Henrique was involved in the ZEPLIN dark matter search located at the Boulby Underground Laboratory (UK) for about a decade; the programme developed the use of two-phase xenon technology for dark matter searches. He was data analysis coordinator for ZEPLIN-III and became spokesperson for the collaboration in 2010. He joined the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment in 2012. LUX was installed at the 4850-ft level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), located in the former Homestake mine in South Dakota, US. LUX published several world leading dark matter searches until 2017.
Since 2012 he has led the UK teams developing the next-generation experiment LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) with colleagues in the US, Portugal, South Korea and Russia. LZ will operate at SURF from 2019/20 and will probe popular models of particle dark matter before irreducible neutrino backgrounds set in.
Henrique has also developed radiation detection instruments for spacecraft. He collaborates with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the European Space Agency on the Highly Miniaturised Radiation Monitor (HMRM), a versatile miniature instrument to characterise the radiation environment in Earth orbit. Previously, he was involved in the design of the LISA Pathfinder Radiation Monitor.