Since November, a physics experiment called the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS II) has been looking for components of dark matter, the primary “stuff” of which the universe is made. Conducted from the Soudan Underground Mine in northern Minnesota, the search is for postulated dark matter particles called WIMPS--weakly interacting massive particles. So far, the experiment has found no WIMPs, but neither has it found contamination from stray neutrons. CDMS II member Priscilla Cushman, a physics professor at the University of Minnesota, is delighted.
“It is actually very satisfying to see nothing on our first run because it establishes the degree of background rejection we have been able to achieve,” said Cushman. “We hope the next run will reveal the elusive dark matter particle.”
The results are being presented at a meeting of the American Physical Society on May 3 and 4 in Denver by Harry Nelson and graduate student Joel Sanders, of the University of California-Santa Barbara, and Gensheng Wang and Sharmila Kamat, of Case Western Reserve University.
Deane Morrison | University of Minnesota
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