Australian scientists will look for axions

Australian scientists have started the ORGAN experiment, which aims to identify elementary particles known as axions. It is believed that dark matter can consist of them, which affects the evolution of the Universe.

The ORGAN experiment will help to detect axions. Source:

Axions — dark matter particles

Australian scientists have started an experiment aimed at identifying the particles that make up dark matter. This exotic type of substance does not interact with ordinary protons and electrons and in most cases does not emit anything. But it has mass and, as a consequence, causes the occurrence of gravitational forces.

We know practically nothing about the essence of dark matter, except that it exists. It is the presence of this exotic kind of matter that causes galaxies to rotate faster than theory suggests. But even what kind of particles it consists of is still not fully understood.

Axions are proposed for the role of the latter. These particles were proposed as part of a solution to a completely different physical problem. However, over time, they began to be considered the main contenders for the role of dark matter.

A massive galactic cluster whose behavior suggests the existence of dark matter. Source: NASA

The most interesting thing about dark matter is that, although it affects processes on the scale of galaxies, it is present almost everywhere, it just practically does not interact with ordinary matter. So, Australian scientists have tried to detect it directly on Earth.

ORGAN experiment

ORGAN is the first major Australian experiment to search for dark matter. It is based on assumptions made by the physical theory of axions. These particles in a strong magnetic field must be converted into photons. At the same time, their mass may be different and the frequency at which the electromagnetic wave is emitted depends on it. 

So, scientists have set a frequency range in which they will look for radiation that would come from nowhere. However, there was another problem on their way. All heated bodies spontaneously emit energy, so it is almost impossible to find photons born from axions in such “noise”. 

Therefore, the ORGAN experiment is a modified haloscope — an installation for observing photons born under the influence of a magnetic field. It is a resonant chamber in the form of a copper cylinder placed into a magnetic field. And in order to get rid of thermal photons, it is cooled to a temperature close to absolute zero.

Scientists hope that under these conditions they will be able to observe the birth of photons from axions and make sure that the latter really exist and that dark matter consists of them. If this is proved, it will become clear how this kind of substance will manifest itself at cosmic distances.

According to

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