Following an experiment which lasted for 20 months, scientists have decreed that for now, the elusive dark matter stays hidden. The particle is crucial to understanding how the mass of the universe works in reality.
We have very few information on the dark matter. It accounts for 80 percent of the matter existent in the universe, but it has never been directly observed. The experiment was supposed to look at how weak massive particles interact (WIMPs) these particles are believed to be the building blocks of dark matter.
The Large Underground Xenon experiment (LUX, in short) is a very sophisticated dark matter detector. But even this machinery could not detect any dark matter, for the time being.
Rick Gaitskell, the physicist at Brown University, has pointed out that the device’s performance has been pushed to unprecedented levels, in the search for dark matter.
To keep the LUX away from any potentially harmful radiation, the LUX is kept in a South Dakota former gold mine, which has been bought by the Sanford Underground Research Facility. Inside the machine, there is liquid xenon which gives a flash of light when dark matter interacts with atoms of regular matter.
Over the 20 months of experimenting, the lights never beamed. There are three large experiments which are currently looking for dark matter. One is being supported by the International Space Station, and the other by the famous CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Dark matter has not been seen so far, and there is no physical proof of its existence. However, dark matter is essential for our understanding of the universe. It is believed that dark matter makes galaxies rotate, bends light and facilitates collisions of large clusters of galaxies. These are just a few of the many phenomena that scientists can only explain the existence of dark matter.
Scientists want to find dark matter, to explain what four-fifths of the universe are made of. This is a very motivating factor for scientists. And it would prove the Standard Model of particle physics right if discovered. Until the dark matter is discovered, there will always be questions about the Standard Model and alternative models imagined by scientists.
But there is also good news about the 20-month endeavor. The equipment used has an unprecedented level of sensitivity and applications in the IT and Internet field.
Image Source – Wikipedia