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Current Affairs

Dark matter experiment predicts axions

Date: 19 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A team of scientists have conducted a dark matter experiment in Italy. The experiment points to the presence of axions underneath a mountain.

 

Background

A dark matter experiment consists of scientists and researchers to identify and search for dark matter particles. The team of scientists had recorded suspicious pings from a vat of liquid xenon underneath an Italian mountain.

 

Details

  • The presence of pings from underneath the mountain could lead to the establishment of a new view of the universe. The scientists claim that if the signal is proven to be true then it could hint towards the evidence of subatomic particles called axions. As per theories, axions play a crucial role in keeping the universe symmetrical.

  • Some theories also contradict the existence of axions underneath the Italian mountain. They believe that scientists may have found new and unexpected particles known as neutrinos.

  • The team has been working towards spotting a rare collision of WIMP and a xenon atom. Such a collision would result in a flash of light and a cloud of electrical charge.

 

Dark matter

  • Dark matter is an invisible substance that exists in our galaxy and universe. Dark matter is called so because it does not emit any light.

  • Dark matter constitutes about 80% of our universe. Further, scientists also believe that dark matter can exist in several forms and shapes.

  • As per studies, dark matter has proven to show its influence through gravity. While scientists strongly believe in the existence of such matters, they are yet to decipher its form and properties.

 

Axions

  • Axions are unconfirmed, hypothetical ultralight particles from beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, which describes the behaviour of subatomic particles.

  • Theoretical physicists first proposed the existence of axions in the 1970s in order to resolve problems in the math governing the strong force, which binds particles called quarks together.

  • But axions have since become a popular explanation for dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up 85% of the mass of the universe, yet emits no light.