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7 Major Experiments That Still Haven’t Found What They’re Looking For

Being an experimental scientist can sometimes seem like a thankless task. You may be used to reading headlines about experiments that end up making great discoveries, but less is heard about the (often heroic) efforts of experimentalists that have yet to detect or observe what they set out to.

Some of these efforts have spanned decades in time and generations of manpower and expertise. However, the absence of a result is often just as scientifically meaningful as any popularized discovery: We learn more about what the natural world isn’t, or doesn’t have. Getting a positive signal from any of these, though, would have far reaching consequences for our understanding of the universe, or our place in it.

Below is a list of seven ongoing experiments that have yet to find what they’re looking for. All of them are remarkable for their ingenuity and ambition. It’s no wonder where the perseverance to push on with these experiments comes from.

Nature seems to have a regular penchant for mocking scientists’ hopes and expectations.

To shine a light on dark matter, bury a tank of liquid xenon underground

Scientists theorize that filaments of dark matter form the scaffolding which all the galaxies we can see cling to. And surrounding each galaxy is a dark matter halo, which provides the extra gravity needed to account for how stars rotate around their galactic cores. Yet, dark matter is

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