In “Dark matter no-show hobbles elegant particle theory” (New Scientist, 19 July 2012), Lisa Grossman reports
Dark matter stubbornly refuses to come out of the shadows. The latest results from an underground detector show no sign of WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, the still-theoretical particles thought to make up the invisible majority of the universe’s mass.
The result puts the strictest limits yet on the particle’s properties, and may squeeze out some favourite extensions to the standard model of particle physics.
Dark matter is the mysterious stuff dreamed up by cosmologists to explain why galaxies don’t fly apart and why matter in the universe clusters the way it does. To explain the universe we see, dark matter must make up 83 per cent of all matter. But it doesn’t emit light or speak to ordinary matter at all, except through gravity.
If it exists. Read on.