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New experiment fails to detect dark matter particles
Posted: Fri, Nov 1, 2013, 7:18 AM ET (1118 GMT)
LUX dark matter experiment (Sanford Lab) The initial run of a new experiment designed to detect dark matter failed to detect any candidate dark matter particles, scientists said this week. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment, located about 1.5 kilometers underground in a former mine in South Dakota, is intended to be the most sensitive tool yet to search for weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs, a hypothesized particle that may constitute dark matter. During a 90-day test tun of LUX earlier this year, though, the experiment failed to detect any particles that could be considered WIMPs. That result conflicts with other experiments which claimed to have detected signatures of WIMPs. Scientists plan to use LUX on a full 300-day run next year to search more thoroughly for WIMPs. Dark matter constitutes about one quarter of the overall universe, far more than ordinary matter, but what form it takes remains a mystery to scientists.
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