Properties of Dark Matter

The search for the nature of dark matter is driving scientific development in particle and astroparticle physics as well as astrophysics and cosmology. The Origins Cluster has extensive research expertise in Dark Matter in all these areas and combines it in the interdisciplinary Connector 3.

The aim of the researchers is to expand our knowledge of the fundamental properties of dark matter. They also want to identify viable models for the interaction of dark matter particles among themselves, with visible matter or with previously unknown components of the universe in their research.

Searching for WIMPs

Physicists are pursuing two approaches to search for dark matter particles ("WIMPs"). On the one hand, they are investigating the collision results of the LHC at CERN for indications of the particles. On the other hand, they are looking for direct collisions of the dark matter particles with atomic nuclei of visible ("normal") matter, as happens at the CRESST experiment inside Origins.

Dark matter also plays a major role in the formation of cosmic structures. The advances in our knowledge of the distribution of dark matter from the galactic to the cosmic length scale and in the theoretical understanding of galaxy formation are combined by the researchers with the long-standing expertise in hydrodynamic simulations by members of Origins.