From a vantage point a half-mile below ground, physicists of the
Cryogenic Dark Matter Search have launched a quest to detect the
dark matter that pervades the universe. Scientists of CDMS II,
an experiment in the Soudan Iron Mine in northeastern Minnesota,
hope to discover the weakly interacting massive particles that
are leading candidates for the constituents of dark matter. The
WIMPs are thought to be particles more massive than protons but
interacting so rarely that thousands would pass through us
undetected each second. Only occasionally would a WIMP hit a
terrestrial atom, leaving a signal in the CDMS II detector.
In the kind of convergence that gets physicists' attention, the
characteristics of WIMPs appear to match those of a particle
predicted by supersymmetry, the neutralino. While CDMS II watches
for WIMPs, accelerator experiments seek to create neutralinos in
particle collisions and measure their properties.