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Several lines of evidence suggest that dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up 83% of the mass of the universe, is made up of subatomic particles known generically as WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles). On cosmic scales, the presumed influence of WIMPs is easy to spot; the particles' collective gravity controls the distribution and motion of stars in galaxies. Detecting single WIMPs is far harder. After running continuously for 100 days, the XENON100 experiment has now yielded the most stringent limits on WIMP properties.

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Category: Science