Latest Results from Cryogenic Dark Matter Search
The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) is a collaborative effort among 15 universities. The experiment is being conducted “a half-mile underground at the Soudan mine in northern Minnesota,” and it “uses 30 detectors made of germanium and silicon in an attempt to detect” what is known as WIMPs. WIMPs are Weakly Interacting Massive Particles which are suspected as being a major contributor to the dark matter in the universe. The announcement summarizing the latest results from CDMS can be found here. For a more technical description of the results, check out the pre-publication paper available online now here. Very briefly, while CDMS has detected two possible dark matter WIMP events, the probability that these detections are from background noise is such that the CDMS team is not going to say that it has been a successful detection. Nonetheless, as the experiment continues, these data provide some hope to astronomers in their attempt to characterize the nature of the cold dark matter that apparently engulfs all galaxies.