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2017 as the Year of Dark Matter?

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3-D impression of dark matter via Hubble

So we hear, from Kate Lunau at Motherboard:

2017 might just be the year we finally catch one. And if we don’t, well, it may be that our best theories about dark matter are wrong—that we’re looking in the wrong places, with the wrong instruments. Maybe dark matter, whatever it is, will turn out to be even weirder and more surprising than anyone has so far predicted. Maybe it’s not a WIMP, but some other bizarre kind of particle.

Then there’s the outside possibility that dark matter doesn’t exist, that it’s an illusion. If that’s the case, we’ll have to consider whether we’ve been fundamentally misreading the universe’s clues.

Buried deep in a mine near Sudbury in northern Ontario is SNOLAB, a vast underground laboratory where scientists are performing a range of experiments, including looking for dark matter. Often compared to the lair of a Bond villain, it’s an ultra-clean, high-tech facility. Two kilometers of solid rock overhead shield its detectors from cosmic radiation, allowing them to sift for bits of matter from dying stars and the Sun: science done here won the Nobel Prize in Physics, in 2015. More.

But then there’s this: A theory that challenges Newton’s and Einstein’s gravity and nixes dark matter passed its first test

And what if dark matter doesn’t exist? Aeon writer asks, Has dogma derailed the search for dark matter?

We must all hope some dark matter is found soon. It doesn’t matter that much if intelligent aliens do not exist or even if if life itself doesn’t exist off Earth. But if we can’t make sense of our best theories without dark matter—but cant find it—Houston, we have a problem.

See also: Dark matter: Skeptics wanted

and

How do dark energy and dark matter relate to ID?

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