The DARWIN observatory proposed to be built at Gran Sasso in the mid-2020s promises to be the ultimate dark-matter detector, probing the WIMP paradigm to its limit.
Dark matter is one of the greatest mysteries of our cosmos. More than 80 years after its postulation in modern form by the Swiss–American astronomer Fritz Zwicky, the existence of a new unseen form of matter in our universe is established beyond doubt. Dark matter is not just the gravitational glue that holds together galaxies, galaxy clusters and structures on the largest cosmological scales. Over the past few decades it has become clear that dark matter is also vital to explain the observed fluctuations in cosmic-microwave-background radiation and the growth of structures that began from these primordial density fluctuations in the early universe. Yet despite overwhelming evidence, its existence is inferred only indirectly via its gravitational pull on luminous matter. As of today, we lack the answer to the most fundamental questions: what is dark matter made of and what is its true nature?
DARWIN, the ultimate dark-matter detector using the noble element xenon in liquid form, will be in a unique position to address these fundamental questions. Currently in the design and R&D phase, DARWIN will be constructed at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory (LNGS) in Italy and is scheduled to carry out its first physics runs from 2024. The DARWIN consortium is growing, and currently consists of about 150 scientists from 26 institutions in 11 countries.
Source: CERN Courier March 2017 article “Testing WIMPs to the limit“