What Is Dark Matter? Another Candidate Particle Ruled Out By Researchers

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Everything we will see — from our personal reflection within the mirror to the farthest reaches of the universe glimpsed by our telescopes — makes up solely a mere 15 p.c of the observable universe’s whole mbad. The remaining 85 p.c is made up of that mysterious substance recognized solely as darkish matter, and we don’t know precisely what it’s.

Numerous hypothetical particles, akin to darkish photons and axions, have been proposed because the constituent of darkish matter. One of the qualities these particles should possess is admittedly weak interplay with regular matter, since darkish matter, regardless of its overwhelming presence within the universe, may be detected solely by way of inference and never by direct remark.

As groups of scientists proceed looking for these hypothetical particles, utilizing modern and elaborate experiments, they haven’t had any success up to now, at the very least within the typical sense of the phrase. However, they’ve been in a position to place more and more stringent limits on the properties of those hypothetical particles, permitting them to look in additional particular locations or ruling out a few of these particles altogether.

The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory stated Nov. eight latest experiment had enormously constrained the vary of potentialities for the existence of darkish photons. And researchers from University of Susbad, United Kingdom, introduced Wednesday that they had “disproved the existence of a specific type of axion… across a wide range of its possible mbades.”

The information the Susbad researchers have been badyzing was collected from an experiment on the Paul Scherrer Institut in Switzerland, and earlier on the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, France.

“We’ve badysed the measurements we took in France and Switzerland and they provide evidence that axions – at least the kind that would have been observable in the experiment – do not exist. These results are a thousand times more sensitive than previous ones and they are based on laboratory measurements rather than astronomical observations. This does not fundamentally rule out the existence of axions, but the scope of characteristics that these particles could have is now distinctly limited. The results essentially send physicists back to the drawing board in our hunt for dark matter,” Philip Harris of the college stated in an announcement Wednesday.

dark matter bridge Dark matter filaments bridge the area between galaxies on this false color map. The places of brilliant galaxies are proven by the white areas and the presence of a darkish matter filament bridging the galaxies is proven in purple. Photo: S. Epps & M. Hudson / University of Waterloo

Axions, even when discovered, would maybe not account for all of the darkish matter within the universe, however they might clarify why the universe has much more matter than antimatter, or in different phrases, why the universe continues to exist in any respect.

The experiment trapped neutrons in a container after which utilized excessive voltage present to it. A change within the price of the neutrons’ spin would point out a distorted construction, and modifications in that distortion over time (which might vary from minutes to years) would point out the presence of axions. But no distortion was discovered, ruling out axions as effectively.

Nicholas Ayres, a graduate pupil on the college co-leader of this evaluation, stated within the badertion: “These results open a new front in the hunt for dark matter. They disprove the existence of axions with a wide range of mbades and therefore help to limit the variety of particles which could be candidates for dark matter.”

The paper, titled “Search for Axionlike Dark Matter through Nuclear Spin Precession in Electric and Magnetic Fields,” appeared Tuesday within the journal Physical Review X.

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