How does CERN think it can find dark matter?

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Offline dhjdhj

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How does CERN think it can find dark matter?
« on: 22/01/2016 10:28:15 »
There has been a lot of discussion on this forum about dark matter, whether it exists ,what it is etc. but in fact it is only a possible explanation of a puzzling observation on the behaviour of the universe. It is however the hottest current topic and I can't help feeling that CERN's public announcement that its next intended target after 'solving' the higgs bosom issue was to find dark matter, had more to do with maintaining profile and funding, than their real area of research. It is of course possible that the key to the answer may lay in research of the very small, but I cant really see it and I cant help thinking that if dark matter does exist, it is much more likely to be observed by some form of remote sensing looking outwards than high energy colliders looking inwards. I am not knocking CERN I believe they are doing a great job of trying to sort out the conundrums that still exit around the atom, and I think that ultimately they could get us out of the energy bind we are in. But a) have they painted themselves into a corner looking for the unfindable? (is this a word?) and b) should it be part of their mission any way?   
« Last Edit: 24/01/2016 23:44:05 by chris »


Offline evan_au

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Re: Why does CERN think it can find dark matter?
« Reply #1 on: 22/01/2016 12:46:01 »
Quote from: dhjdhj
their real area of research
CERN is all about subatomic physics.

There are a few tantalizing puzzles that suggest that there are more subatomic particles than those recognized by today's "Standard Model" of particle physics.

The LHC is also able to peer into the conditions that existed early in the Big Bang. It is thought that Dark Matter (whatever it is) must have some roots in the Big Bang.

With the LHC's recent "supercharged" upgrade to 7 TeV per beam (14 TeV total), they are able to investigate effects that have never been seen before under controlled conditions; almost any time scientists get to investigate a new energy range, they discover something new.

One of those candidates is the hypothetical Dark Matter particle (a "WIMP"). Various studies have ruled out other Dark Matter candidates like black holes, free-floating planets or neutrinos - there just can't be enough of them to account for the observed effects.

So the LHC is certainly one possible way that the nature of Dark Matter might be discovered - but that won't prevent other scientists peering into large vats of liquid Xenon in deep gold mines, carrying  out experiments on the ISS, measuring the strength of gravity more precisely, or peering into space with a variety of telescopes and cameras.

There is a Nobel Prize glimmering at the end of this rainbow! Everyone would like to be in the race.

PS: There are rumors that the LHC detector teams have already seen a "blip", but they don't like to talk about it publicly until they have detected many such events, and the statistical significance reaches "5σ" (and preferably, after they have some sort of explanation for this "blip").