Friday, January 11, 2013

Dark Matter, SUSY & DNA

In an earlier post I talked about the search for SUSY (supersymmetric) particles. SUSY particles might be an explanation for dark matter. Since each SUSY particle is paired with a normal particle (a Standard Model particle), they are often called SUSY partners. Most of the SUSY particles are predicted to be unstable, and so far there is no convincing experimental evidence that any of them exist. However theory predicts that the lightest of the SUSY particles will be stable. This LSP (lightest super-symmetric particle) might be the basis for dark matter.

In that post, I indicated that the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) might generate LSPs. Now, it seems very unlikely to do so over the short term. (There were results that suggested the existence of non-standard model particles, possibly SUSY particles, but those results didn't prove that the SUSY is correct or that LSPs exist. Other results seemed to disprove SUSY altogether, at least according to some).

However all is not lost. The LHC is undergoing enhancements. Once these enhancements are complete, the LHC will operate at higher energy; it is possible that operating at higher energy will create particles that could not be created at lower energy, possibly including the LSP.

There are other approaches. Current experiments, not associated with the LHC, are looking for dark matter particles (which are not necessarily LSPs). They include DAMA/LIBRA, CoGeNT and CREST-II. Results from some of these experiments have given hints of dark matter, but have failed to convince everyone.

In an arXiv paper published this past July, it was argued that a detector based on ssDNA (single stranded DNA) would have higher resolution than existing detectors, should make detection of dark matter particles easier, and may provide more convincing results. While DNA is more commonly associated with medical, genetic and biological applications, it can be and has been used in other fields such as physics.

So, we have several approaches, one or more of which might provide convincing evidence of dark matter particles in the future.

For more information see the following articles...

Andrzej Drukier, Katherine Freese, David Spergel, Charles Cantor, George Church, Takeshi Sano. arXiv:1206.6809 [astro-ph.IM] "New Dark Matter Detectors using DNA for Nanometer Tracking."  (Submitted on 28 Jun 2012).

R. Bernabei, et al. arXiv:1007.0595 [astro-ph.CO] "Particle Dark Matter in DAMA/LIBRA." (Submitted on 4 Jul 2011).

Henning Fleacher. CERN Document Server. "Recent SUSY Results from CMS."

Dan Hooper, Chris Kelso.  arXiv:1106.1066 [hep-ph] "Implications of CoGeNT's New Results for Dark Matter." (Submitted on 6 Jun 2011).

Leo Stodolsky, et al. "The CRESST-II Dark Matter Search." 2012 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 384 012013.

1 comment:

  1. There is an update on the this blog post (see December 6, 2014).