Darkish matter secrets and techniques might lie buried in historical rocks on Earth

Fossil traces hidden deep underground might resolve the thriller of darkish matter, the elusive substance that makes up 80 per cent of the universe


26 February 2019

MOST of our universe is lacking. Observations of the smallest galaxies to buildings spanning the complete universe present that atypical matter – the stuff that makes up you, me and all the pieces we see within the cosmos round us – accounts for under one-fifth of all matter. The remaining 80 per cent is a thriller.

After a long time making an attempt to search out this “darkish matter” with a sequence of ever-more-sophisticated detectors, we stay empty-handed. It’s time for a brand new method. Maybe a mix of historical minerals snatched from the bowels of the planet and fashionable nanotechnology will reveal the secrets and techniques of this elusive substance.

We can’t see darkish matter as a result of it doesn’t work together with mild. Nonetheless, theoretical fashions present clues about what it could be manufactured from. Essentially the most compelling rationalization is that it’s manufactured from particles, similar to all of the atypical stuff round us. One of the promising candidates is the WIMP, or weakly interacting large particle, a hypothetical entity with a mass just like that of a standard atomic nucleus.

If darkish matter is manufactured from WIMPs, then a litre of stuff – whether or not it’s air, rock or seemingly nothing in any respect – ought to comprise just a few of those unique particles, whizzing round at speeds of a whole lot of kilometres per second.

More often than not, these particles would fly proper by something of their method as if it weren’t there. However very not often, they may stumble upon the atomic nucleus of this matter and provides it somewhat kick.

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