Cosmology Physics Science

A world without WIMPs

There was talk over lunch and coffee of dark forces, dark photons, and dark neutrons.1 (emphasis added)

This is the extent of what is actually known about dark matter and any other entities from the dark sector of particle physics.  At a workshop where more than 100 physicists took over the University of Maryland, titled “US Cosmic Visions: New Ideas in Dark Matter,” attendees were encouraged to think more broadly to solve the vexing problem of the non-detection of dark matter particles in all experiments that have ever been tried for the last 40 years, at least.

They spoke of axions and other dark-matter candidates so lightweight that they would be detected as waves, and of particles so heavy that they would clump together and encounter Earth only occasionally as a vast invisible glob.1

Despite impressive sensitivity, dark-matter detection experiments such as Large Underground Xenon (detector array above) have not found any evidence of WIMPs. Credit: C. H. Faham/LUX

A recalibration for the dark-matter community

For decades physicists have been fixated on the putative WIMP, a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle, which allegedly has a tendency to intermittently mingle with ordinary matter via the weak force. WIMPs have been alleged to inhabit our part of the Galaxy but all experiments, like the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) detector array, have failed to find any trace of their existence.  Theorists developed ideas that WIMPs might be the lowest mass yet stable supersymmetric particle, called the neutralino but experimentalists with vast, exquisitely sensitive underground detectors such as the LUX array or using the powerful particle accelerator the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) found no such particles though they were meant to be constantly streaming stealthily through our planet. Now,

… for the physicists at the workshop, the era of hoping for a WIMP miracle is all but over.1 (emphasis added)

At the workshop the attendees were encouraged to look further abroad, to think more exoticly, because the current research programs were not finding anything that could solve the dark matter crisis.

Now that the WIMP has pretty well wimped out, the axion, which has been considered and searched for since the 1970s, and other light particles are being searched for. But no experiment looking for the axion or any other exotic light particle has turned up anything there either. Imagine a particle larger than the Earth but so low in density it cannot be detected and you have an idea what some are considering.

Sounds crazy? Dark neutrons, dark photons and even dark atoms are being considered. Some even have gone as far as to consider the existence of dark galaxies with dark planets containing dark intelligent life.2

Why is this important?

Cosmological physics has failed to describe the universe via an expansion out of an alleged big bang singularity without the inclusion of a vast amount of unseen dark matter. Thus no dark matter implies the standard big bang model is wrong.

It seems that the other primary need for dark matter in galaxies may have been solved via a better understanding of standard physics, without the inclusion of any exotic new particles.3 Broadly speaking this then leaves the need for it only in cosmology.  Thus if the null experiments continue to be repeated the confidence in the existence of dark matter will continue to decline and physicists will start to come out of the fog that has enveloped them for many decades.

It seems that if dark matter particles, in some form, are not detected within the next decade a serious rethink of the standard model will be needed. But knowing the allegiance that the atheistic scientific community has to the alleged big bang origin of the universe I do not think a more realistic belief with arise. Instead I predict cognitive dissonance will rule and the big bang paradigm will be maintained but with some additional beliefs why the dark matter cannot be detected.


  1. A. Grant, Pondering a world without WIMPs, Physics Today, March 31, 2017.
  2. J.G. Hartnett, Where materialism logically leads, June 1, 2016.
  3. J.G. Hartnett, Has the dark matter mystery been solved? April 6, 2017.

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By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

5 replies on “A world without WIMPs”

I like your material. I am taking a cosmology course at the U of Winnipeg this fall (DV) and it’ll be the standard big bang approach, I am sure. I gave a book to the professor (Dwight Vincent) who is head of physics there- I think it was yours but it was over a year ago and I cannot recall exactly. Anyway what exactly is the material that is holding it all together, or is it just the fact that the universe is young? is there a spiritual element (“In Him all things cohere” Colossians 1. I actually do not want to challenge the prof in class, ( not that I am afraid to – I’m older than him and still practising medicine part-time, so it’s not like I am just out of high school) but I think it could be disruptive– but I’d like some ideas for more private discussion with him. It is not my purpose to convert the prof to a young-earth creationist, but I view it an an avenue to bring Christ before him.

BTW does the universe have to be young? Stars were made on Day 4, but the heavens and the earth were made before that (no stars) It is hard to understand that God made 10^22 stars and records in it what looks like 2 words in the interlinear Hebrew –And the stars; so the heavens and the earth could’ve existed, empty of sun and stars for a while before the seven days?

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Richard, Who says it needs to be held together? That is an assumption based on an equilibrium condition, which is a naturalistic assumption. But even making that assumption it now appears that there is no need to invoke dark matter in galaxies. That was the primary driver for dark matter decades ago. Read HAS THE DARK MATTER MYSTERY BEEN SOLVED?

From a different angle I suggest you read A BIBLICAL CREATIONIST COSMOGONY which lays out a possible scenario of a static or quasi-static universe. But now I tend to believe that the Creator will maintain the universe forever into our future. Read OUR ETERNAL UNIVERSE.

We should define the age of the universe by Earth clocks. In such a case the universe needs to be of order 6000 years old. But in terms of cosmological clocks it could be billions of years old. This would not contradict the Genesis 1 timeline, which is all spoken from an Earth-centric view. Read and watch the video lecture AN ETERNAL QUANTUM POTENTIAL OR AN ETERNAL CREATOR GOD.


Thanks — I will have to do some more reading on this; I do not actually understand the earth clock–cosmic clock idea; I read Genesis and the Big Bang and The Science of God years ago and it was all explained relativistically as I recall. I also recall, perhaps incorrectly, that your cosmology is the opposite of Gerald Schroeder’s. I think you and Carmeli agree? I read Starlight, Time and the New Physics also, much more recently; but again, the math is beyond me.

Is there one sentence that I can use to help me understand the distinction between the earth clock and the cosmological clock?

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“Instead I predict cognitive dissonance will rule and the big bang paradigm will be maintained but with some additional beliefs why the dark matter cannot be detected.”
Agreed. They will come up with another fairy tale to explain why the existing dark matter fairy tale is not working (i.e. not detectable) as expected.


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