Dark Matter

Dark Matter is the name given to describe a general class of astrophysical matter which does not radiate (hence is dark) but exerts its influence on other matter gravitationally. It comprises roughly one-fourth of the universe.

Dark Matter Chart

Astrophysical observations can place constraints on the total mass of the Dark Matter, but cannot identify its specific properties on the particle level. For that, a particle theory is needed and is indeed handy.

Supersymmetry, a theory which was proposed to resolve some questions that are unanswered by the Standard Model of particle physics, predicts the existence of a new particle (as of yet undetected). The properties of this particle are consistent with the astrophysical constraints placed on Dark Matter. Therefore, it appears that this new supersymmetric particle, referred to as Weak Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP), is an excellent candidate for Dark Matter.

The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) aims to detect WIMP Dark Matter on Earth by detecting its interaction with Germanium nuclei. The SuperCMDS uses interleaved Z-sensitive Ionization Phonon (iZIP) detectors with arrays of
TES sensors to measure the recoil energy the Germanium nuclei receive from the interaction. However, the detectors also pick up background events, which can hinder the identification of WIMPs. To minimize these effects, CDMS places the detectors deep underground. After a testing period in the Sudan mine in Minnesota, SCMDS moved to a deeper underground facility at SNOLAB, located in the Vale Inco Mine in Sudbury, Canada.

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