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The ‘WIMP Miracle’ Hope For Dark Matter Is Dead

1 Mar 2019, 15:01 UTC
The ‘WIMP Miracle’ Hope For Dark Matter Is Dead
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The quest for particle dark matter has led us to look for WIMPs that may recoil with atomic nuclei. The LZ Collaboration will provide the best limits on WIMP-nucleon cross-sections of all, but the best motivated scenarios for having a weak-force-driven particle at or near the electroweak scale make up 100% of the dark matter are already ruled out. (LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) COLLABORATION / SLAC NATIONAL ACCELERATOR LABORATORY)But we shouldn’t give up on direct detection. Here’s why.Dark matter is not only the most abundant form of matter in the Universe, it’s also the most mysterious. Whereas all the other particles we know of — atoms, neutrinos, photons, antimatter and all the other particles in the Standard Model — interact through at least one of the known quantum forces, dark matter appears to interact through gravity alone.According to many, it would be better to have called it invisible matter, rather than dark matter. It not only doesn’t emit or absorb light, but it doesn’t interact with any of the known, directly detectable particles through the electromagnetic, strong, or weak nuclear forces. The most sought after dark matter candidate is the WIMP: the Weakly Interacting Massive Particle. The big hope was for a ...

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