Disney's new "frozen" attempt to find dark matter

Do you want to build a snowball camera?

Physicists are not often inspired by Disney musicals when designing new experiments, but a team bent on detecting dark matter says that's what it did.

To find dark matter, that is the elusive, invisible things that constitutes most of the matter in the universe: scientists have built gigantic devices, probed deep and small floating beads. Now, apparently, they are also turning to movies for children.

Matthew Szydagis, a researcher at SUNY Albany, was forced to investigate the properties of the excessively chilled water after watching YouTube videos of people playing with him, according to a press release from the American Physical Society, "especially when he saw it. again at Disney. " Film & # 39; Frozen & # 39; "

The cold of space never bothered me anyway

The idea is to look for pieces of ice the size of a particle in small bubbles of supercooled water.

"All my work is motivated by the search for dark matter, a form of matter that we are sure exists because we can observe its indirect gravitational effects," Szydagis said in the news release. "It constitutes a significant fraction of the universe, but we have yet to discover direct, conclusive and unambiguous evidence of it within the laboratory."

Szydagis is looking for dark matter using supercooled water, which can be kept as a liquid below the usual freezing temperature of water, as long as it is in a vacuum sealed container. He presented his work, which was shared for the first time online last year, at a meeting of the American Physical Society on Sunday.

The subatomic particles are worth merging to

In particular, Szydagis' team discovered that neutrons cause subcooled water to freeze when they collide with it, leading scientists to speculate that they may have a new way of detecting dark matter, which is believed to share similarities with the neutrons.

They have not yet detected any dark matter, since their particular research was only intended to show that a super-cooled water chamber could function as a subatomic particle detector. But future projects can use their design in a real search for things.

READ MORE: The "snowball camera" helps researchers use supercooled water to search for dark matter[AmericanPhysicalSocietyvia[AmericanPhysicalSocietyvia[AmericanPhysicalSocietyvia[AmericanPhysicalSocietyviaPhys.org]

More on dark matter: An Oxford scientist could have solved the mystery of dark matter

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