Story 2016-08-26 1RQW8 Dark matter detection experiment comes up empty-handed

Dark matter detection experiment comes up empty-handed

in space on (#1RQW8)
After 20-month search period, a key dark matter detection experiment has officially come up empty-handed, casting doubt on the existence of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPS), which have been far and away the leading explanation for one of the biggest mysteries in astrophysics.

Scientists "have pushed the sensitivity of the instrument to a final performance level that is four times better than the original project goals. It would have been marvelous if the improved sensitivity had also delivered a clear dark matter signal. However, what we have observed is consistent with background alone." The LHC, meanwhile, is conducting experiments that should produce cross-sections of particles that may point to the presence of WIMPs, but it has so far come up empty-handed as well.

Besides WIMPs, there are other candidates for dark matter, including MACHOS (dim stars or black holes that give off little or no radiation), axions (theorized chargeless, very low mass particles), sterile neutrinos, and gravitinos. WIMPs are favored, however as they are predicted by Supersymmetry, and might solve a great deal of astrophysical mysteries-from explaining the apparent weakness of the gravitational force to the existence of the Higgs boson.
Reply 1 comments

Dad humor abounds in the science world (Score: 1)

by on 2016-08-27 17:32 (#1RV44)

WIMPS, MACHOS...very dad humor.

Reminds me of what they call the gene that dictates whether a fruit fly develops a heart or not: tin man.