Dark matter has been one of the most elusive part of Universe’s mass, it may be all around us but, as yet, its existence is entirely theoretical. While dark matter is believed to account for 84.5 percent of the total matter in the universe no telescopes can detect it. So Why we can’t detect it?
Scientists at the University of Southampton in England, and the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik in Germany, have proposed a new fundamental particle which may help explain. It have just 0.02 per cent mass of an electron, the new particle doesn’t interact with light, but interacts strongly with normal matter – a characteristic required for dark matter. The latest research behind this particle involves some very different areas of physics including theoretical particle physics, observational x-ray astronomy, and experimental quantum optics.
“Our candidate particle sounds crazy, but currently there seem to be no experiments or observations which could rule it out,” Dr James Bateman, from Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton and co-author of the study, said. “Dark Matter is one of the most important unsolved problems in modern physics, and we hope that our suggestion will inspire others to develop detailed particle theory and even experimental tests.”
Unlike other candidates, this low-mass dark matter may not even be able to penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere, rending detection from the ground unlikely. As a result, Dr. Bateman and his colleagues plan to incorporate the search for these particles into a space experiment planned by the Macroscopic quantum resonators (MAQRO) consortium.
The experiment will involve suspending a nanoparticle in space exposed directly to the flow of Dark Matter. Researchers will then monitor this particle’s position to reveal information about the nature of this Dark Matter particle, if it exists.
Researchers are of the opinion that we have to shift to alternative candidates for detection of dark matter as all current experiments have given no clear direction. One of the researcher who thinks along these lines is Dr Alexander Merle, co-author of the paper from the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany.
Merle says: “At the moment, experiments on Dark Matter do not point into a clear direction and, given that also the Large Hadron Collider at CERN has not found any signs of new physics yet, it may be time that we shift our paradigm towards alternative candidates for Dark Matter. More and more particle physicists seem to think this way, and our proposal seems to be a serious competitor on the market.”
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