next up previous

The Net Advance of Physics: The Nature of Dark Matter, by Kim Griest -- Section 6A.

Next: Motivation for Supersymmetry Up: Abstract Previous: Non-Thermal Relics

Search for Wimp Dark Matter (Neutralinos)

Why is it important to actually search for and to identify the dark

matter? Of course it is intrinsically interesting to know what the

primary constituent of the Universe consists of, but also until we

know the dark matter identity, there will always be the doubt that

there is no dark matter, and instead there is some flaw in our

knowledge of fundamental physics.

Unfortunately, no one technique is useful for all the different

candidates. The only way to proceed is to pick a candidate and

design an experiment specific to that candidate. This is risky

proposition, especially for the experimentalist who must spend

many years of his or her life developing the technology and

performing the search. For this reason, only the best motivated

candidates are currently being searched for. There are hundreds of

other dark matter candidates that we have not discussed at all. As

one goes down the list of popular candidates, asking oneself which

candidate is the most likely, I have to admit that

``none-of-the-above" comes to mind. However, it is difficult to

make any progress searching for an unspecified candidate. After

``none-of-the-above", I think the Wimp candidates, and especially

the supersymmetric neutralino candidate, is probably the best bet. It

may sound odd, especially to astronomers, that my best guess for the

dark matter is a specific undiscovered elementary particle based on

a theory for which there is no evidence, so I will spend some time

describing my somewhat idiosyncratic reasons.

Please see the lectures by A. Masiero [68] for additional in depth

discussion of many of the issues covered here. Also see the new

Physics Report ``Supersymmetric Dark Matter", by Jungman,

Kamionkowski, and myself [22] for more details on everything

covered here.