Scientists hunting unseen dark matter are looking deeper into the shadows. With searches for a favored dark matter candidate—weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs)—coming up empty, physicists are now turning to the hypothetical "dark sector": an entire shadow realm of hidden particles. The concept "has been percolating for 7 or 8 years, but it's really coming to the fore now," says Jonathan Feng, a theorist at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).This week, physicists will meet at the University of Maryland, College Park, for a workshop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), to mull ideas for a possible $10 million dark matter experiment that could go ahead in the next few years. The effort would complement the agency's current experiments, including the flagship WIMP search, LZ, a $76 million subterranean detector under construction in Lead, South Dakota.
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