WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $6.6 million for four new research awards to develop design concepts for dark matter search experiments. The multi-institutional teams leading the projects involve scientists, engineers and other technical professionals at 7 DOE National Laboratories as well as 18 institutions of higher learning across the nation.

Researchers will design experiments to take advantage of important recent advances in theory and technology that may help better understand dark matter. Projects are expected to make use of facilities and technologies developed with DOE support at national laboratories, universities, and elsewhere, including particle accelerators, new detection technologies, and various underground and deep underground facilities, among other capabilities.

The goal is to develop detailed concept designs and execution plans for future experiments to search for different types of dark matter particle candidates, including weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), axions, and “dark” or “hidden” photons. These designs and plans may then be selected for subsequent funding for implementation.

Research in high energy physics is a cornerstone of America’s science efforts and helps guide a better understanding of the universe and the nature of dark matter. It also plays a major role in nurturing top scientific talent in order to build and sustain the nation’s scientific workforce.

This year’s projects were selected by competitive peer review under the DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement and corresponding DOE laboratory announcement titled, “Dark Matter New Initiatives,” and sponsored by the Office of High Energy Physics within the Department’s Office of Science.

Fiscal Year 2019 funding is $825,000 for projects lasting up to four years in duration, with outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations. The list of projects can be found here under the heading, “What’s New.”