At present, researchers are trying to pinpoint dark-matter Wimps in two ways. The first has involved building detectors deep below ground. Down there, all other particles, including those generated by cosmic rays that bombard Earth’s surface, are blocked out. When a Wimp makes a rare interaction with normal matter it should then reveal itself in detectors. But so far this approach has had no success.

The second method is to try to make dark matter – in the form of supersymmetrical particles – by generating them in the LHC. As Charlton says: “Supersymmetry particles provide a perfectly natural explanation for dark matter.”