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Non-baryonic dark matter is by now a well motivated concept from astronomy in the framework of a universe model containing cold dark matter. Several independent measurements from experimental cosmology indicate the necessity of a matter content above the allowed baryonic matter from primordial nucleosynthesis. In addition, particle physics offers attractive candidates for cold dark matter classified as WIMPs and initially motivated independent from cosmological reasoning (especially the neutralino as necessary ingredient of supersymmetric theories).

WIMP searches in the form of direct and indirect detection experiments are a very active field of research also because of the attractive interdisciplinarity between astro- particle- and nuclear physics. A large variety of direct detection experiments, on which this review focused, currently produce results or will start in the near future. In addition, the first WIMP-detection evidence has been announced and will soon be tested by independent experiments. The benefit from this kind of research is twofold and worth to be reminded. One would learn about the supposed major part of matter in the universe and about beyond standard model physics by detection of non-baryonic dark matter.


The author thanks the following researchers for providing informations about their experiments and valuable comments: R. Bernabei, G. Chardin, D.B. Cline, J. Collar, S. Cooper, H. Ejiri, M. Di Marco, J. Hellmig, H.V. Klapdor-Kleingrothaus, M. Lehner, L. Lessard, M. Minowa, K. Pretzl, B. Sadoulet, W. Seidel, N. Smith, N.J.C. Spooner, D. Tovey and HanGuo Wang.