Does dark matter really exist?

A recent story in Nature reports no signs of dark matter from the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) Detector, deep underground in South Dakota (photo below by Carlos Faham). Certainly not a death-knell for the theory (indeed, the experiment is ongoing) but, as a draft paper notes, “the LUX data are in strong disagreement with low-mass WIMP signal interpretations of the results from several recent direct detection experiments.”

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2 thoughts on “Does dark matter really exist?

  1. Are you, by chance, familiar with the theory of the experimental setups? I haven’t done much in the way of study in particle physics, and I am wondering why it would be that the liquid xenon in this kind of experiment wouldn’t interact with neutrinos, as in the case of the much-less-sensitive Super Kamiokande setup. I know that neutrinos are considered “WIMP-like,” and I am not sure what that means exactly, unless neutrinos interact electromagnetically (whereas WIMPs do not); and so, in that case, neutrinos would not interact with the xenon, though the particulars of why this would be still escapes me.

    • I’m afraid I haven’t got the expertise to answer that.

      However, I presume the key fact is that they were looking for particles substantially heavier than neutrinos, and that the choice of xenon (rather than chlorine) in the detector reflects this.

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