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Home / Science / Where can I find dark matter? $ 34m says go look 2km under Canada • The Register

Where can I find dark matter? $ 34m says go look 2km under Canada • The Register



A new experiment will search for the tiny vibrations of weak interacting massive particles

  SLAC's WIMP detector

The SLAC-WIMP detector.

Picture: Andy Freeberg / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

(Oi! Vendor Land! Fel free to copy this design for a Small Form Factor PC)

In the 2020s, Boffins, a hockey-puck-shaped silicon and germanium crystal, is hoping for 2,000 Meters Under Canada (19659005) Dark matter has a big problem: scientists can spot their effects on the macroscale, but have never discovered any of the hypothetical particles that make up it.

The scientists hope that the answer lies in Developing more sensitive experiments, and this is exactly what Stanford University's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has just begun. With funding of $ 34 million, the lab has announced the start of construction of an experiment to detect Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs).

Named after the SuperCDMS (Cryogenic Dark Matter Search), the experiment is being built SNOLAB ̵

1; the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, a former nickel mine 2 km underground in Ontario, Canada

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<p class= SuperCDMS at SNOLAB. Image: Greg Stewart / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Click to embliggen

To carry out the experiment, the institutes at SNOLAB will build four detector towers, each with six detector packages. These are mounted in a cryogenic chamber, SNOBOX, cooled to less than 0.04 K (-459.6 degrees Fahrenheit, about -273 degrees Celsius).

The silicon germanium crystal detectors are designed to vibrate a tiny bit when they arrive. WIMP manages to collide with it.

Dark Matter Researchers Think They Have a Signal

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Theorists expect the collisions to produce "electron pairs and electron deficiencies" [inTransistorsforexamplereferredtoas"holes"- El Reg ] which move through the crystals and trigger additional atomic vibrations that amplify the signal of collision with dark matter. "

As SLAC's announcement stated, recent prototype testing has been conducted. The detector showed that SuperCDMS" would have a sufficiently high energy resolution, as well as detector electronics with low enough noise to reach our research goals, " According to Paul Brink from the Kavliu Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) 9659005] They expect SuperCDMS to be more than 50 times more sensitive than SLAC's earlier instrument, the non-super-plain-old CDMS, which gives it a better chance to detect at least some of the properties of WIMPs.

In particular, KIPAC SuperCDMS Richard Partridges leader said that would allow the experiment to search for relatively light WIMPs "in a mass range from a fraction of the proton mass to about 10 proton masses." 19659005] SuperCDMS is a collaboration of 111 boffins from 26 institutions. ®

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