One of many

COST OF THE ENDLESS WIMP HUNT

Robert Oldershaw
Aug 24, 2017 · 2 min read

Some recent estimates of money spent on current WIMP searches.

PandaX-II about $15 million

XENON1T about $11 million

LUX about $10 million (probably way underestimated)

Given go-ahead: LZ about $55 million; SuperCDMS about $32 million

In design phase: XENON8T (no $ estimate yet)

These are only a few of the many WIMP and other particle dark matter searches that have been going on for over 40 years. It would be interesting to see the total cost of this enterprise over that whole period.

Besides the money, one must also consider the time, effort and whole careers that have gone into this effort.

And what has been the result of the heroic and very expensive effort? Not a single WIMP, axion, sterile neutrino, or any other hypothetical particle to explain the dark matter enigma.

Are WIMP buffs discouraged? Not apparently. Are they aware that LIGO and microlensing and fast radioburst discoveries are likely to render the entire particle dark matter enterprise a fool’s errand, since it is far more likely that the dark matter is composed of stellar-mass ultracompacts? They must be, and yet the game goes on, and on, and on, …

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