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US reveals its next generation of dark matter experiments

14 Jul 2014, 14:30 UTC
US reveals its next generation of dark matter experiments
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This article appeared in symmetry on July 11, 2014.
Together, the three experiments will search for a variety of types of dark matter particles. Photo: NASA
Two US federal funding agencies announced today which experiments they will support in the next generation of the search for dark matter.
The Department of Energy and National Science Foundation will back the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search-SNOLAB, or SuperCDMS; the LUX-Zeplin experiment, or LZ; and the next iteration of the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment, ADMX-Gen2.
“We wanted to pool limited resources to put together the most optimal unified national dark matter program we could create,” says Michael Salamon, who manages DOE’s dark matter program.
Second-generation dark matter experiments are defined as experiments that will be at least 10 times as sensitive as the current crop of dark matter detectors.
Program directors from the two federal funding agencies decided which experiments to pursue based on the advice of a panel of outside experts. Both agencies have committed to working to develop the new projects as expeditiously as possible, says Jim Whitmore, program director for particle astrophysics in the division of physics at NSF.
Physicists have seen plenty of evidence of the existence of dark ...

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