Conversations I Wish I Had

Space-based particle detector hints at dark matter



Space scientists have measured a curious signal that they say might come from the mysterious “dark matter,” an invisible substance detected so far only through its gravity.

The researchers at the University of Leicester in the U.K. reported what seems to be a signature of particles thought to possibly make up dark matter, called axions. The scientists speculate that the Earth’s magnetic field is turning some of these into X-rays.

“If confirmed, it will be the first direct detection and identification of the elusive dark matter particles and will have a fundamental impact on our theories of the Universe,” said University of Leicester physicist Martin Barstow, who is also President of the Royal Astronomical Society.

In a study to be published Oct. 20 in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the scientists said the signal has no conventional explanation. The first author of the study…

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This entry was posted on October 26, 2014 by .
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