Mysterious dark matter that affects the evolution of distant galaxies should actually be present on Earth. Scientists have proposed a new method for studying it using neutrino detectors.
Dark matter on Earth
Scientists from the TRIUMF project, in which several American universities participate, have recently published a scientific paper in which they propose to search for dark matter directly on Earth. This mysterious substance makes up a large fraction of the mass of the Universe, but we know practically nothing about it due to the fact that it does not emit anything, does not absorb and interacts extremely weakly with other particles.
That is why it is mainly searched for by the gravitational effect it has on distant galaxies. However, this does not mean that it does not exist on Earth. A certain number of particles that make up it must be present on it constantly. We should even have 15 orders of magnitude more of it than in the surrounding space.
However, the energy of these particles averages only 0.03 eV, and they practically do not interact with the rest of the atoms of our planet, even when they are surrounded by them from all sides. Therefore, it is almost impossible to detect them by traditional methods.
Application of neutrino detectors
However, in a new study, scientists have proposed a new method for searching for those acts of interaction between dark matter and ordinary matter that still occur. They proceeded from the assumption that with such an interaction, dark matter particles could not only be reflected from ordinary ones, but also completely destroyed.
In this case, a certain number of electrons and photons should be born, which should have significantly more energy than in simple collisions. However, these events happen very rarely. Therefore, to study them, it will take a huge and very sensitive detector and a sufficiently long observation time.
And such tools already exist. We are talking about neutrino detectors like Super-Kamiokande, which is located under Mount Ikeno in Japan. They consist of numerous devices that register high-energy electrons with certain characteristics that are born when invisible particles still interact with ordinary matter.
In the study, scientists have unveiled a methodology for how, among the many events that Super-Kamiokande registers, to isolate those that correspond to the annihilation of dark matter that occurs inside the sensor. However, scientists are not sure that it consists of only one type of particle and it does not apply to the heaviest of them.
But scientists believe that the heaviest particles of dark matter should still be somewhere in the center of the Earth, and at the surface they are much lighter, which Super-Kamiokande will hunt for.
According to phys.org
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