SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Dark matter;
  • particle candidates;
  • detection methods;
  • review.

Abstract

The problem of the dark matter in the universe is reviewed. A short history of the subject is given, and several of the most obvious particle candidates for dark matter are identified. Particular focus is given to weakly interacting, massive particles (WIMPs) of which the lightest supersymmetric particle is an interesting special case and a useful template. The three detection methods: in particle accelerators, by direct detections of scattering in terrestrial detectors, and indirect detection of products from dark matter particle annihilation in the galactic halo, are discussed and their complementarity is explained. Direct detection experiments have revealed some possible indications of a dark matter signal, but the situation is quite confusing at the moment. Very recently, also indirect detection has entered a sensitivity region where some particle candidates could be detectable. Indeed, also here there are some (presently non-conclusive) indications of possible dark matter signals, like an interesting structure at 130 GeV γ-ray energy found in publicly available data from the Fermi-LAT space detector. The future of the field will depend on whether WIMPs are indeed the dark matter, something that may realistically be probed in the next few years. If this exciting scenario turns out to be true, we can expect a host of other, complementary experiments in the coming decade. If it is not true, the time scale and methods for detection will be much more uncertain.