DOE Wants to Understand Dark Matter Better

By making use of national laboratory infrastructure and technologies, the Energy Department wants to shine a light on dark matter — the mystery substance believed to make up nearly a quarter of the universe.

On April 18, the agency announced it will provide $24 million for new projects to study dark matter. The projects will leverage national laboratory particle accelerators, new detection technologies and various underground and deep underground facilities to get more insight into dark matter, DOE said.

DOE wants those who are interested to provide detailed project designs, which could then be chosen for subsequent funding for implementation. The agency expects $24 million in funding over the possible 4-year award period, with outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations.

“The nature of dark matter remains one of the big, enduring questions of the universe,” Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar said in a statement. “With new developments in the field over the past few years and the game-changing research being done in the American science community, the time is right for innovative efforts to tackle the problem of dark matter.”

Letters of intent are due April 30. The deadline for the final applications is a month later, on May 30.

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