Observations of galaxies, galaxy clusters, distant supernovae, and the cosmic microwave background radiation tell us that ~85% of the matter in the universe is comprised of one or more species of dark matter. With the continuing success of the Standard Model of particle physics, the existence of dark matter provides one of the few tangible sign posts as we seek to understand what lies beyond the Standard Model. Deciphering the nature of this dark matter would be of fundamental importance to cosmology, astrophysics, and high-energy particle physics.
A leading hypothesis is that dark matter is comprised of particles that were produced moments after the Big Bang. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) is one of several experiments underway to directly detect these particles and begin an era of dark matter science that will hopefully allow us to understand the nature of the dark matter.