Physicists have suggested that the composition of dark matter, which we cannot see, may include “dark photons”. It may not consist entirely of these particles, but perhaps they will help scientists understand what represents that part of the mass of the Universe that we do not see.
Do “dark photons” exist
Recently, a group of physicists published a study that a massive particle called a “dark photon” might exist in nature. This may help shed light on the mysteries of dark matter, the most mysterious substance in the Universe.
Dark matter is currently a huge problem for physicists because, despite the fact that it makes up 85% of the matter in our Universe, it remains virtually invisible. This is because dark matter does not interact with light like the everyday matter that stars, planets, and even our bodies are made of. Dark matter can be defined only through its interaction with gravity and its influence on everyday matter.
This strange lack of interaction with light or electromagnetic radiation also shows that dark matter is not made up of atoms that contain particles such as protons and neutrons. This fact prompted scientists to look for particles that could make up dark matter; the number of these particles would have to exceed the number of particles that make up standard matter, also known as baryons, in a ratio of 5 to 1.
Interaction with ordinary matter
Even those scientists who advocate the existence of “dark photons” do not believe that the hidden part of matter consists exclusively of them. However, they can be carriers of electromagnetic interaction between its particles in the same way as ordinary photons perform the same role for visible matter.
And in some cases, their “dark” relatives can interact with ordinary photons. This happens through the kinetic mixing mechanism, and the results of these collisions can be seen in some experiments.
Scientists who have published work on “dark photons” believe that their traces can be found in experiments with inelastic reflection of particles. This phenomenon was first discovered in 1922. Usually photons collide with an obstacle, fly away from it without losing any energy, or simply disappear.
However, sometimes, when faced with graphite foil, they transfer only part of their energy to it, which affects the internal structure of the material. Usually this complex mechanism is explained through a standard set of particles.
The authors of the new study have shown that if you add a “dark photon” to the standard model, it will explain much better what happens during such experiments. This does not mean that these particles really exist. However, it shows that there may indeed be experiments in which their parameters can be detected, and hence the structure of dark matter.
According to www.space.com.
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