Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I Detecting WIMPs with superconductors?

  1. Sep 21, 2017 #1
    If a weakly-interacting massive particle interacted with an electron in a classical superconductor would it break up a "cooper pair" and thus lead to extra electrical resistance?

    If so perhaps the loss of superconductivity in a 2-d array of superconducting wires could be used to detect the flux of dark-matter WIMPs across the array? As the 2-d array of wires rotates with the earth through the WIMPS one might detect a daily fluctuation in the conductivity of the wires.

    PS Maybe the wires have to be very close to their "transition" temperature for such a detector to work?
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2017 #2
    The problem is in the phrase
    Dark matter particles have not been observed to directly interact with anything and this is the whole problem with detecting it. If dark matter is there and is indeed very weakly interacting, your setup may need a superconducter the size of an ocean to detect a single particle.
  4. Sep 21, 2017 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    This is a huge, and unverified assumption.

    If a WIMP can interact with an electron, then we would have seen it EASILY by now. We won't need a superconductor. Having a superconductor here adds nothing to the ability to detect such a thing.

  5. Sep 21, 2017 #4


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    WIMPs interacting weakly with electrons are not impossible - but the interaction has to be very rare. We would expect large momentum transfer, and there we have better detection methods.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted