• U.S. Department of Energy
  • Fermilab
  • P5 report graphic

    The Search for Dark Matter

    Physicists posit that 23 percent of the universe is composed of dark matter, compared to just 4 percent made up of visible matter and 73 percent made up of dark energy. But no one has observed dark matter directly.

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  • Why MAX?

    The MAX researchers recognize the great potential of argon and xenon detectors in the search for dark matter.

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  • MAX Technology

    Researchers in the MAX collaboration will build two different types of detectors to search for dark matter. The detectors will share the same photosensor technology, electronics, shielding scheme and purification strategy while making use of the strengths of both types of detector.

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  • Underground Science

    On the surface of the Earth, billions of cosmic rays cause a commotion of confusing signals in detectors searching for evidence of dark matter. But underground, rock can shield sensitive detectors from cosmic interference.

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Astrophysicists have found evidence that clouds of invisible matter surround the stars and galaxies we can see, helping to hold them together and bending the light that passes them. No one has directly observed this invisible matter, which they call dark matter. But scientists strive to understand its nature to expand our knowledge of cosmology, astrophysics and elementary particle physics.

The MAX collaboration is engineering two complementary multi-ton particle detectors filled with noble liquids with the goal of directly observing dark matter. Members of the MAX collaboration plan to push the sensitivity of the experiment to 1000 times beyond currently published results. They will propose the twin detectors be included in the initial suite of experiments to take place in a proposed Deep Underground Engineering and Science Laboratory.

The Cosmic Frontier
The MAX Experiment is part of worldwide research at the intensity frontier.
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National Science Foundation
MAX is funded in part by the National Science Foundation
NSF web site

Max Collaboration

Last modified: 09/30/2009 |