Direct searches for dark matter using noble liquids, especially liquid xenon in recent years, have obtained the best sensitivities in the field for moderate to high-mass dark-matter WIMPs. Along with the development of this technology, there has been a continued effort in the community to better understand the detailed scintillation and ionization responses of noble liquids in the presence of low-energy ionizing radiation. As this body of knowledge is reaching a mature state, a unified software framework for simulating scintillation and ionization production in these detectors is strongly needed. In this talk, I introduce NEST: Noble Element Simulation Technique, which is an open-source simulation package based on physics models informed by the world's best data on the subject. I additionally present the method used for modeling electronic recoils, which comprise most of the background in a dark-matter search, and nuclear recoils (which dark matter should produce), and compare with available data.
Szydagis, Matthew M., "Grasping the Fundamental Physics of Xenon" (2015). Physics Faculty Scholarship. 40.