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Battle over WIMPs goes another round

Claimed dark matter find remains controversial

By
7:48pm, April 24, 2008

Of all the things worth arguing about in the universe, physicists are once again haggling over a bunch of WIMPS.

At a meeting in Venice on elementary particles, Rita Bernabei of the University of Rome announced that her team has found additional evidence for an exotic type of subatomic particle called a WIMP, for weakly interacting massive particle. The new findings, based on several years of experiments conducted beneath the Apennines east of Rome, are controversial. Despite years of searching, no other experiment has ever found evidence for the elusive particle. But the stakes are high, because proving the existence of WIMPS could in one fell swoop settle a 75-year-old puzzle about the identity of the dark matter in the cosmos. A true WIMP discovery would also provide a key clue to unifying the four fundamental forces of nature.

In the latest version of their experiment, known as DAMA/LIBRA, Bernabei and her colleagues analyzed faint flashes of li

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