Dark Matter: We’re Sure It’s There, But How Do We Find It?

Friday, February 12, 2016: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Wilson A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Elisabetta Barberio, Center of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale, Parkville, Australia
Determining the precise nature of Dark Matter is one of the main open questions of contemporary physics. Its resolution will probably entail a major revolution in our understanding of the universe; baryonic matter, which constitutes our environment, is only about 4% of the total energy content in the Universe. Dark matter has eluded detection for decades, and the evidence for a particle or a set of particles explaining its nature remains absent.

In the last decade, there has been impressive experimental progress in detector technologies to directly detect dark matter interactions with normal matter. The detector volumes have successfully been scaled up by orders of magnitude and the radiation purity of the material improved to parts per billion. The sensitivity of recent direct detection experiments has therefore improved tremendously and is uniquely suited to solve the dark matter puzzle.  This review will summarize the current direct dark matter search results.