Research

CERN begins the hunt for dark matter

European Physics Research LabCERN has announced that it is planning a new experiment to search for particles associated with dark matter, which is believed to constitute about 27% of the universe. The experiment will be conducted in the same place where the Large Hadron Collider is located - a giant laboratory in a 27-kilometer tunnel on the French-Swiss border. His task will be to search for "light and weakly interacting particles."

How to find dark matter?

Scientists say that the so-called ordinary matter - of which the stars, gases, dust, planets and everything on them - is only five percent of the universe.

But dark matter and dark energy make up the rest, and scientists have not yet observed them directly.

Invisible to telescopes, dark matter is a mysterious substance, which is perceived by its gravitational effects on other objects in space.

In 2010, the LHC began to push protons of highenergy between themselves at speeds close to the speed of light. These collisions generate new particles and give physicists the opportunity to understand the laws of physics visually, and therefore better understand the universe.

But the four main LHC detectors are not suitable for searching for such light and weakly interacting particles as those associated with dark matter.

"They can travel hundreds of meters withoutinteracting with any material before turning into known and detectable particles - electrons or positrons. Perhaps exotic particles leave the existing detectors and go unnoticed.

To solve this problem, CERN has developed a new tool - FASER - which can carry out highly sensitive search and detect such particles.

“Although protons in particle beams will bendaround the magnets on the LHC, the light and very weakly interacting particles will continue to move in a straight line, and FASER will be able to detect their “decay products”, the statement reads.

The purpose of the LHC is to find hypothetical particles, including the so-called dark photons and neutralino, which are also associated with dark matter. The experiment will be conducted from 2021 to 2023.

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