Friday, March 4, 2011
Have Physicists Already Glimpsed Particles of Dark Matter?: The dark matter particles would not be exactly what many expected, either. The data point to particles weighing about 7 GeV, or seven times as much as a proton. Physicists expect WIMPs to weigh 10 times more. The W in WIMP stands for the weak nuclear force through which the things would interact with ordinary matter. So WIMPs should weigh about as much as the particles that convey that force, the W and Z bosons, which weigh 80 and 91 GeV. Still, in papers posted 2 September and 5 November, Hooper and colleagues argue that a 7-GeV particle f its into established theory and supersymmetry. “They don't have to violate anything sacred” to do it, Kolb says.