Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cryogenic Dark Matter Search: Experiment hints at interaction with dark matter particles

Date:
February 20, 2010
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
Scientists involved in the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment report their latest findings. Two events recorded during the CDMS experiment had the characteristics of an interaction involving dark matter particles.

Wolfgang Rau, Particle Astrophysics Professor, Queen's University.
Credit: Photo by Michael Onesi

Even the biggest Star Trek fan would probably have trouble understanding the technical details of the research done by Queen's University Particle Astrophysics Professor Wolfgang Rau of Kingston, Canada.

Professor Rau is the only Canadian researcher among the group of 60 scientists involved in the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment (CDMS) whose latest findings are published in the latest edition of Science. Professor Rau says the project is among the top two or three most important experiments on this subject in the world.

He uses a simple analogy to explain his complex search for dark matter -- the difficult-to-detect particles that played a central role in the evolution of the Universe and the formation of our galaxy.

"It's kind of trying to find a needle in a haystack. But we tend to do things a little differently in science. Instead of just digging for the needle, we are looking at getting rid of some of the hay," says Professor Rau, who also holds a Canada Research Chair position in particle astrophysics.

The needle would be an interaction between a dark matter particle with ordinary matter in a particle detector, while the hay would represent interactions of particles from other sources such as cosmic radiation, referred to as "background."

Two events recorded during the CDMS experiment had the characteristics of an interaction involving dark matter particles.

"We do additional tests to see if these interactions have come from background sources or if they were indeed from dark matter particles," says Professor Rau. "We have seen these two events and so far we really can't say what it is. We have reached the limit of what our experiment can do with this configuration. Presently we are upgrading our detectors to improve our sensitivity, but eventually we plan to build a much bigger experiment at SNOLAB, the [Queen's affiliated] underground laboratory near Sudbury."

Understanding dark matter will help scientists answer basic questions about the origin of the universe.

"Dark matter makes up roughly 85 per cent of the matter in the universe and we don't know what it is," says Professor Rau. "Dark matter is responsible for us having galaxies in the first place and plays a very important role in the evolution of the universe. It is fundamental science what we are doing. If there was no dark matter, we wouldn't be here."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. The CDMS II Collaboration. Dark Matter Search Results from the CDMS II Experiment. Science, Published online 11 February 2010 DOI: 10.1126/science.1186112

Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "Cryogenic Dark Matter Search: Experiment hints at interaction with dark matter particles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218150654.htm>.
Queen's University. (2010, February 20). Cryogenic Dark Matter Search: Experiment hints at interaction with dark matter particles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218150654.htm
Queen's University. "Cryogenic Dark Matter Search: Experiment hints at interaction with dark matter particles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218150654.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Captured by International Space Station

SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Captured by International Space Station

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 20, 2014) — SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft makes a scheduled Easter Sunday rendezvous with the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station

Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station

AP (Apr. 20, 2014) — Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The SpaceX company's cargo ship, Dragon, spent two days chasing the International Space Station following its launch from Cape Canaveral. (April 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Extremely Large Telescope Could Spot Alien Life

Extremely Large Telescope Could Spot Alien Life

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) — Scientists are preparing to blow up a Chilean mountain to construct the Extremely Large Telescope, which will take detailed pictures of exoplanets. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Hoax? Cosmetics Company Wants To Brighten The Moon

A Hoax? Cosmetics Company Wants To Brighten The Moon

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — FOREO, a Swedish cosmetics company, says it wants to brighten the moon to lower electricity costs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins