Looming large, dark matter still proves hard to pin down

The ever-elusive substance known as dark matter has once again avoided detection as the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment, a incredibly sensitive dark-matter detector, completes its latest run.

Very little is known about dark matter, other than that it is thought to make up 80 percent of the matter in the universe and has never been directly observed. This experiment was designed around detecting weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), which most physicists consider, at present, to be the main contender for what dark matter is made of.

“LUX has delivered the world’s best search sensitivity since its first run in 2013,” Rick Gaitskell, a physicist at Brown University and co-spokesman for LUX, said in a statement. “With this final result from the 2014 to 2016 search, the scientists of the LUX Collaboration have pushed the sensitivity of the instrument to a final performance level that is four times better than the original project goals.” READ MORE.