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Nuclear and Particle Physics

Dark Matter (CoGeNT)

Unambiguous direct detection of cosmological dark matter particles is, perhaps, the single most pressing particle astrophysics measurement sought by cosmologists and theoretical particle physicists alike. Dark matter is well known by its gravitational effects observed throughout the universe, despite being entirely invisible to our telescopes measuring the electromagnetic spectrum from radio frequencies, through the visible spectrum, and up to gamma rays. The gravitational effects appear in deviations from uniform intensity of the cosmic microwave background radiation, galactic clustering, gravitational lensing, and the rotation of galaxies. The leading candidate for these gravitational effects is the presence of a weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP), the gravitational influence of which is ubiquitous but otherwise does not participate in the familiar interactions of the Standard Model of particle physics.

The public and scientific interest in dark matter stems from the glaring realization that scientists and researchers only know and understand ~5% of the material that composes the universe. More information on Dark Matter (CoGeNT)

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