Researchers at the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) facility have recently uploaded a paper in which they announce that they have found three events that lie in the signal range of a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMPs).
WIMPs are a theorised particle which is suspected to the constituent of elusive dark matter. Dark matter is believed to make up to a quarter of the material in out universe. However, it is unlike any of the matter that we encounter in our everyday lives and interacts rarely. This makes is extremely hard to find. Read more about dark matter from an earlier post of mine.
The CDMS facility is located deep underground in Minnesota’s Soudan Mine. Where they have set up detectors in the hope of detecting the slight amount of heat given off by a collision between a WIMP and an atom’s nucleus. The researchers report detection of three events that might have been the result of such collisions, though they are quick to add that the events might also have been due to something else, such as statistical errors. However, calculations indicate the events are 99.81 percent more likely to be WIMPs than background fluctuations, which translates to approximately a three-sigma level of confidence. However, this is still not enough to be confirmed as a discovery. For that they will need a confidence of 5 sigma, but these results offer a tantalising glimpse at the infamous dark matter.