Overwhelming evidence from galactic to cosmological scales indicates that most of the matter in the universe exists in some new dark form that is invisible to conventional astronomical techniques. One possibility is that this dark matter is Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) that were produced in the early Universe. These relics could comprise the Milky Way's dark halo and provide evidence for new particle physics, such as Supersymmetry. After reviewing some of the evidence for dark matter and the WIMP hypothesis, I will describe the experimental challenge to detect WIMPs, with a focus on the Large Underground Xenon experiment, or LUX, which is just now getting underway in a former South Dakota gold mine.
Refreshments in CW 119 at 4:15 p.m.