Carlo Rubbia

The Underground Physics: Neutrino and Dark Matter (Lecture + Discussion)


Abstract

As well known, only seven or eight percent of the Universe is composed of what we term “regular” matter. About 70 percent is dark energy, and around 22 percent of the universe is made up of dark matter. The nature of the dark matter in the Universe is one of the major unsolved mysteries in cosmology.
Dark matter so far has been detected cosmologically through its gravitational effects. The main key question is the existence of an additional electroweak coupling to ordinary matter as a necessary prerequisite to its experimental detection in the laboratory.
There is no shortage of ideas as to what the dark matter could be. A converging paradigm to naturally explain this unseen component of matter is that it may be a weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP), with mass scale ranging from tens of GeV to few TeV, presumably related to the existence of hypothetical SUSY particles. Another alternative puts forth the so-called Axion as the most promising dark matter candidate. Finally, additional sterile neutrinos may also make good candidates.
We will review in detail some of the major experimental programmes underground and on surface and the innovative technologies that are on the way to attempt the direct observation of such elusive dark matter signal in the laboratory.


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