dark matter

From Gizmodo, Nov. 10, 2020: Fermilab and University of Maryland scientist Dan Carney and a small group of scientists have begun work on a prototype they say could one day lead to a dark matter detector capable of pinpointing the minute gravitational pull of a particle we can neither see nor feel. The detector is simple in design, but the theory behind its construction amounts to a fundamental rethinking of the search for dark matter.

Researchers have proposed a novel method for finding dark matter, the cosmos’s mystery material that has eluded detection for decades. The proposed experiment, in which a billion millimeter-sized pendulums would act as dark matter sensors, would be the first to hunt for dark matter solely through its gravitational interaction with visible matter.

From Mining.com, Nov. 2, 2020: Three batches of 99.99% pure copper plates mined in Finland, rolled into plates in Germany, shipped across land and sea to Fermilab, and finally rushed into storage 100 meters underground are being used in an experiment to search for dark matter.

Department of Energy officials have formally signed off on project completion for LUX-ZEPLIN, or LZ: an ultrasensitive experiment that will use 10 metric tons of liquid xenon to hunt for signals of interactions with theorized dark matter particles called WIMPs.

Fermilab joins the global celebration of Dark Matter Day. Hear from Fermilab scientists during a special webinar on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 1 p.m. CT. Take a virtual tour of the lab’s dark matter experiments and detectors, and learn how Fermilab is helping answer questions about the mysterious stuff that makes up 25% of our universe.

From NIST, Oct. 13, 2020: Researchers at NIST and their colleagues, including Fermilab scientist Gordan Krnjaic, have proposed a novel method for finding dark matter. The experiment, in which a billion millimeter-sized pendulums would act as dark matter sensors, would be the first to hunt for dark matter solely through its gravitational interaction with visible matter. A three-minute animation illustrates the new technique.

Visualizing dark matter is not an easy task. Although scientists have reason to believe the mysterious substance makes up about 27% of all the matter and energy in the universe, they still have yet to see it directly; they know it exists only because of its gravitational pull on the visible matter around it. An art exhibit at the Science Gallery Dublin combines art and science to illuminate the invisible nature of dark matter.